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15 Apr 2024

Australia awards Boeing contract for P-8A upgrades

Australia awards Boeing contract for P-8A upgrades
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Boeing Press Release

Boeing has been awarded a $139.5 million contract to deliver Increment 3 Block 2 software, systems and sensor upgrades to enhance the anti-submarine warfare, maritime strike and intelligence collection capabilities of the RAAF’s P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

The RAAF’s first P-8A aircraft entered into service in 2016 under an incremental development program. These upgrades will ensure Australia’s P-8As maintain best-for-mission capability, and support the achievement of Initial Operating Capability in June 2028.  

The first two aircraft to undergo the Increment 3 modification will be upgraded in Jacksonville, Florida, with the remainder of the fleet of 12 to be completed by Boeing Defence Australia at RAAF Base Edinburgh, South Australia.  

The contract will create approximately 50 new jobs including six Certificate IV aircraft maintenance engineering apprentices, 38 Certificate II aerospace workers and several supply chain trainees.

“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,” said Naomi Smith, Boeing Defence Australia director of sustainment operations.

New employees will complete formal training with South Australia’s Flight One Academy, along with on-the-job training, during the next two years in preparation for commencement of work on the first aircraft in September 2026.

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

Two new P-8As are due to be delivered to RAAF in 2024 and 2025. There is provision for the upgrade contract to be extended beyond its 2030 end date to accommodate these two aircraft.

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