Boeing has rolled-out the first Australian P-8A Poseidon aircraft in Seattle, Washington, US, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) announced.
The aircraft, the first of twelve on order with Boeing, has been accepted into service by the chief of the RAAF. The P-8A Poseidon is based on designs of Boeing’s 737-800 fuselage, with modifications to include a weapons bay, under-wing and under-fuselage hard points for weapons, and increased strength to enable continued high angle of bank turns and low level operations.
GPCAPT Roger McCutcheon, director maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and response transition office, said:
“Over the next three years, the P-8A will replace our current fleet of AP-3C Orion aircraft currently based at RAAF Base Edinburgh. The first aircraft will arrive in Australia on 15 November 2016, with the remaining 11 aircraft to be delivered by March 2020.”
Since early 2015, RAAF aircrew and maintenance personnel have been training for the arrival of the P-8A, working alongside the US Navy at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.