AirAsia Pacific

Boeing to Revamp Australian Poseidon Maritime Patrol Fleet

Australia has awarded Boeing a contract to modernize its air force’s P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

The 139.5-million Australian dollar ($89.6 million) project will update the fleet’s sensors, systems, and software to support enhanced operability across maritime strikes, anti-submarine warfare, and intelligence missions.

The first two platforms receiving the upgrades will be reconfigured in Jacksonville, Florida.

The remaining planes will undergo upgrades locally at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Edinburgh, South Australia, which also serves as the main home airport of the agency’s fleet of 12 Poseidons.

Boeing will begin revamping the first aircraft in 2026.

The contract could be extended beyond 2030 for the two P-8As the government ordered in December 2020.

“We anticipate the upgrades will involve more than 300,000 hours of maintenance work over four years, with each aircraft taking around 7.5 months to complete,” Boeing Defence Australia Sustainment Operations Director Naomi Smith stated.

“They will bolster the existing 250+ workforce based at RAAF Edinburgh who currently deliver maintenance services for the P-8A Poseidon fleet,” 

Additional Workforce

The entirety of the program will generate 50 jobs in the country, according to the Australian government.

Boeing specified that these roles will include six Certificate IV aircraft maintenance engineering apprentices, 38 Certificate II aerospace workers, and related supply chain trainees.

New employees participating in RAAF’s P-8A upgrades will be given formal training under South Australia’s Flight One Academy.

It will be followed by two years of on-the-job training to prepare personnel for the first Poseidon’s schedule in September 2026.

A Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon aircraft departs to Japan as part of Operation ARGOS. It hovers a few meters above ground just as it begins to take off.
Australia maintains order in the Indo-Pacific region by upholding the UNSC’s sanctions. Photo: Australian Defence Force

“Investing in this critical upgrade to our P-8A Poseidon fleet will create new opportunities for apprentices to learn valuable skills and forge a career that offers long-term and well-paid employment, while also ensuring our Defence Force is equipped with the capabilities it needs to keep Australians safe,” Australian Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy said.

The latest framework followed a $60-million contract signed by Boeing in 2021 for a “major” overhaul of RAAF’s Poseidon aircraft.

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