The Australian Government has signed a new deal with Boeing Defence to deliver support services and provide advanced surveillance and response capabilities to the P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

The six-year contract is expected to generate 40 new job opportunities.

Under the contract, the company will maintain and support the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft at RAAF Base Edinburgh.

The contract will strengthen the Australian industry’s capacity to operate and maintain the advanced aircraft and their systems.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “The initial A$300m ($214m) contract provides a highly experienced maintenance, engineering and logistics workforce to defence.

“This will grow the workforce to over 160 from Boeing and their sub-contracted personnel from Airbus Australia Pacific, delivering vital services to the P-8A capability.

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“Our Australian workforce is vital to the continued sustainment and upgrades which are critical to the Poseidon’s capabilities.”

In December last year, Boeing delivered the 12th and final P-8A Poseidon to then recently upgraded airfield and support infrastructure at RAAF Base Edinburgh. The delivery completed the RAAF’s fleet for No 11 Squadron.

Since July 2016, Boeing and Airbus Australia Pacific have partnered to provide support arrangements for the P-8A Poseidon.

The P-8A is used to conduct long-range maritime surveillance, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.

Earlier this month, TAE Aerospace based at Bundamba in Ipswich, Australia, conducted routine maintenance of the RAAF’s first F‑35A engine fan module.

Following the development, the Australian defence industry achieved a milestone in the maintenance of the RAAF new F-35A Lighting II fighter jets.00