Australia receives first P-8A anti-submarine and surveillance aircraft

Boeing has delivered its first P-8A Poseidon surveillance and anti-submarine aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force on November 16.

The Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull MP, together with other government and defense officials welcomed the new Poseidons at the Royal Australian Air Force base Fairbairn in Canberra.

The $5.4 billion P-8A program will provide Australia’s future manned maritime patrol and response aircraft capability, replacing in part the AP-3C Orion aircraft.

The P-8A Poseidon is 39.5 metres long, with a maximum takeoff weight of 85,820kg and a wingspan of 37.6m. Powered by two jet engines, it has a top speed of 907km/h with a maximum range of 7,500km.

Australia is expected to operate a total of 15 aircraft with initial operational capability (IOC) for the first eight P-8A’s scheduled for the period 2017 – 2020.

This is the first of 15 aircraft the government committed to in the 2016 Defence White Paper, with 12 already contracted to be delivered by March 2020.