Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) Boeing Seattle has delivered the sixth P-8A Poseidon military aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

Conducted under the cooperative Poseidon programme, the current delivery is the contracting office’s first foreign military aircraft international direct delivery.

Aircraft receipt inspections had been previously carried out at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, US, by the Australian Air Force’s 11 Squadron, following which the P-8A jets were delivered from the air station to its Edinburgh base.

The sixth RAAF aircraft has been directly delivered to Australia from Seattle as was requested to the Navy Joint Project Office by the country’s AIR 7000 Project Office, on behalf of the RAAF’s 11 Squadron and 92 Wing.

DCMA Boeing Seattle P-8 international programme integrator Air Force captain Rachel Del Grosso said: “After initial discussions brought up an opportunity to provide significant cost and schedule savings to the RAAF with a direct DCMA delivery to Australia instead of delivery to Jacksonville, Florida.

“Soon, planning began with our leadership, P-8 Joint Program Office DAPML, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) PMA-290, and AIR 7000 Project Office in Canberra, Australia.”

“Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon is a multi-mission capable replacement aircraft for the traditional P-3C Orion.”

The journey from Australia to Seattle involved three different time zones and comprised three stops, which included Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and finally Australia.

As the US Navy’s newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon is a multi-mission capable replacement aircraft for the traditional P-3C Orion.

The combat-capable aircraft has been designed to carry out long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The aircraft also has the capability to carry out broad-area maritime and littoral operations.

In September 2016, the first P-8A Poseidon aircraft was rolled out for the RAAF.