Royal Australian Air Force Boeing P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft
Royal Australian Air Force Boeing P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft

Royal Australian Air Force Boeing P-8A Poseidon Fleet Modifications Complete

A significant capability milestone has been achieved for Royal Australian Air Force’s Boeing P-8A Poseidon platform. The completion of the modification program was marked with the finalisation of works on P-8A Poseidon aircraft A47-006 on July 28 at RAAF Base Edinburgh, near Adelaide in South Australia. Operated by units under the command of No. 92 Wing, the Poseidon fleet underwent extensive modifications over a period of 12 months to support future upgrades to the capability. The works were carried out by Boeing in partnership with personnel from the P-8A Enterprise, which includes supporting elements from Boeing Defence Australia, Airbus Australia Pacific, No. 92 Wing and Surveillance and Response Systems Program Office.

Officer Commanding No. 92 Wing Group Captain John Grime said,“It was an important capability outcome.The P-8A fleet is now future-proofed and ready for the technical upgrades that lie ahead. This tranche of modifications included wiring upgrades to expand and enhance the mission systems fitted to the aircraft and improve interoperability; as well as networking for air-to-air, air-to-ship and air-to-ground communications in support of the joint force. These modifications will position the P-8A Poseidon as the premium maritime surveillance aircraft in the world.92 Wing is really proud of our contribution to these projects and our role in these partnerships, which ensures we maintain the capability edge for Australia and our coalition partners.”

Officer Commanding No. 92 Wing, Group Captain John Grime, front centre, stands with staff and personnel from Surveillance and Response Systems Program Office, No. 92 Wing and Boeing in front of P-8A Poseidon A47-006. (Photo by Corporal Brenton Kwaterski/Australian Government Department of Defence)

The P-8A Poseidon is a modern, potent and highly reliable aircraft based on the commercially-proven Boeing B737-800; modified to incorporate the latest maritime surveillance and attack capabilities. Operated by No. 11 and No. 292 Squadrons based at RAAF Base Edinburgh, the P-8A Poseidon is a modern, potent and highly reliable aircraft based on the commercially proven Boeing B737-800; modified to incorporate the latest maritime surveillance and attack capabilities. With its highly impressive technical attributes, the P-8A Poseidon brings flexibility, responsiveness and attack capability to the Joint Force in its primary roles of Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, Maritime Surveillance and Search and Rescue.

On 21 February 2014, the Australian Government approved the purchase of eight P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The acquisition of an additional four aircraft was approved in March 2016. Delivery of these aircraft was completed in November 2019 and in December 2020, the acquisition of a further two aircraft was approved, bringing the total force to 14 aircraft. Under Project AIR 7000, a mixed fleet of piloted and remotely piloted aircraft will replace Australia’s AP-3C Orion aircraft; with the P-8A, a fundamental element of this Project. Alongside the MQ-4C Triton Remotely piloted Aircraft System, the P-8A Poseidon aircraft fleet is a critical element of Australia’s future maritime patrol and response strategy.