The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) first P-8A Poseidon aircraft has arrived, it will be used to help Australia enhance its border and maritime security.
Built based on Boeing B737, the aircraft has been modified by adding latest maritime surveillance and attack capabilities.
The Australia Government has committed to procure 15 P-8A Poseidon aircraft in total, with 12 already contracted to be delivered by March 2020.
These new aircraft will 'strengthen our existing comprehensive maritime surveillance capability, helping secure Australia’s borders, play a vital role in the fight against people smugglers and providing state of the art anti-submarine defences', the Australian Department of Defence said in a statement.
The P-8A Poseidon has been designed by the US Navy for use in anti-submarine warfare and it will work in collaboration with existing Australian Border Force assets to protect the nation's border.
Powered by two CFM56-7 engines, the aircraft can fly up to 41,000ft and travel up to 490k.
Designed for 25 years/25,000 hours in the harshest maritime flight regimes, including extended operations in icing environments, the P-8 can fly in all flight regimes and can self-deploy up to 4,500 miles from base without refuelling, Boeing said in a statement.
The aircraft is capable of controlling unmanned air vehicles (level 2 control-receive) to extend sensor reach.
It can carry 30% more sonobuoys than any maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft currently flying, the statement said.
Image: Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, AO, CSC speaks to the media on the occasion of the official welcoming of Australia's first P-8A Poseidon aircraft. Photo: © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.