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RAAF completes P-8A Poseidon modification programme to support future upgrades

Australia's 12th P-8A Poseidon aircraft is seen here shortly after arriving at RAAF Base Edinburgh on 12 December 2019. On 15 September 2021 the RAAF announced that its P-8A fleet had completed a series of modifications to enable future capability upgrades. (Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)

The Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF's) fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft has undergone a series of modifications to support future capability upgrades.

The service announced on 15 September that the modification programme was completed on 28 July, when work was finalised on aircraft A47-006 at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia.

The RAAF said in a statement that the 12-month programme was carried out by Boeing along with personnel from the P-8A Enterprise, which includes supporting elements from Boeing Defence Australia, Airbus Australia Pacific, No 92 Wing, and the Surveillance and Response Systems Program Office.

According to No 92 Wing Group Captain John Grime, this tranche of modifications included wiring upgrades to expand and enhance the mission systems fitted to the aircraft and improve interoperability, as well as networking for air-to-air, air-to-ship, and air-to-ground communications in support of the joint force. These modifications will enable the RAAF's P-8A fleet to receive further technical upgrades down the line, he added.

The RAAF operates a fleet of 12 P-8A aircraft and has another two aircraft on order under a Lot 12 production contract awarded to Boeing in March 2021. The contract, valued USD1.63 billion, also includes nine P-8A for the US Navy.

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