Australia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and implementing arrangement for the delivery of two PAC-750XL utility transport aircraft to Papua New Guinea.

The signing took place during the ongoing Australian International Airshow and was confirmed by the Australian Government on 2 March.

The MoU and agreement were signed between General Angus Campbell and Major‑General Mark Goina, Chief of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Chief of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF), respectively.

According to the terms of the arrangement, Australia will strengthen the bilateral aviation partnership between the countries with the delivery of the first aircraft to the PNGDF by April and the second by September.

Once delivered, the PAC-750XL aircraft will boost the aviation capabilities of the PNGDF, allowing them to perform crucial operations for the sovereign government and people.

With additional abilities, the country will be able to quickly deploy its forces in support of different national emergencies and incidents, as the new planes can easily be configured for specific missions.

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Campbell said: “This is another significant chapter in our aviation cooperation, following Australia’s support to the PNGDF to help re-establish the airworthiness of its first PAC-750XL aircraft in 2021.”

Delivery of the PAC-750XL aircraft will allow the two countries’ forces to bolster their longstanding defence cooperation.

The new arrangement builds on initial discussions undertaken by the ADF and PNGDF to expand the ‘Flights of Excellence’ programme in 2017.

Under the programme, the countries will collaborate on aviation safety, maintenance and sustainment for the entire service life of the aircraft.

Goina said: “It is a momentous lift in the PNGDF Air Wing’s ability to serve our government and our people and will enhance PNGDF’s ability to serve our people in the remotest corners of our nation.”