The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received the 12th and final P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft from Boeing.
The country’s newest maritime surveillance aircraft completed the fleet for No 11 Squadron with its arrival at RAAF Base Edinburgh on 12 December.
Australia Defence Minister Linda Reynolds stated that the aircraft will improve the country’s maritime security.
The P-8A is used to conduct long-range maritime surveillance, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. The first unit arrived in Canberra, Australia, in November 2016.
The aircraft offers the latest surveillance and attack capabilities and provides the military with a multi-mission capability.
Reynolds said: “The aircraft can be refuelled while flying by tanker aircraft such as Australia’s KC-30A, making it possible to patrol Australia’s isolated Southern Ocean territories.
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“The P-8A is already providing significant operational support to Australia, including a recent mission to the Middle East Region on Operation MANITOU as part of the International Maritime Security Construct.”
Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price stated that the government is investing A$470m to create the necessary infrastructure at RAAF Base Edinburgh to accommodate the new aircraft.
The infrastructure work being carried out includes airfield works, as well as new and upgraded facilities.
In September, the RAAF received a P-8A Poseidon in Seattle, US.
Australia is acquiring the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft systems and the P-8A Poseidon to replace the existing the AP-3C Orion fleet.
The aircraft is based on Boeing B737 and has an internal fuel capacity of nearly 34t.