Air Force’s maritime patrol capability will be boosted with Australia set to acquire two more P-8A Poseidon surveillance and response aircraft, bringing the total fleet size to 14.
The Government has also approved sustainment funding for the current approved fleet of three MQ-4C Triton aircraft.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Honorable Linda Reynolds Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) said the announcement is part of the Morrison Government’s unprecedented $270 billion investment in defence capability over the next decade.
«Together, the P-8A Poseidon and the MQ-4C Triton will provide Australia with one of the most advanced maritime patrol and response capabilities in the world», Minister Reynolds said. «The P-8A Poseidon is a proven capability that will conduct tasks including anti-submarine warfare, maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and support to search and rescue missions. These additional aircraft will enhance Air Force’s flexibility to support multiple operations and will play an important role in ensuring Australia’s maritime region is secure for generations to come. The Morrison Government’s continued investment in the P-8A Poseidon program is also creating more Australian jobs and opportunities for Australian small businesses. Several Australian companies are already completing work for Boeing Defence Australia, and industry investment including facilities works is over $1 billion».
The additional P-8A Poseidon aircraft are to be purchased through our existing Cooperative Program with the United States Navy.
Minister Reynolds said being part of the Cooperative Program with the United States Navy allows Australia to share in the benefits of their technical expertise and divide project costs.
«Defence is committed to this cooperative approach; together we are striving to develop this military technology to the highest standards», Minister Reynolds said.
The P-8A Poseidon is a highly versatile, long endurance platform capable of a range of mission types including Maritime Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance and striking targets above and below the ocean’s surface.
The planned integration of the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) into Air Force capability will also allow it to strike adversary surface vessels at significantly increased ranges.
The P-8A Poseidon has advanced sensors and mission systems, including a state-of-the-art multi-role radar, high-definition cameras, and an acoustic system with four times the processing capacity of the AP-3C Orions.
The P-8A Poseidon is built specifically as a military aircraft. It is based on the proven commercial designs of Boeing’s 737-800 fuselage, but has been substantially modified to include:
- a weapons bay;
- under wing and under fuselage hard points for weapons;
- increased strengthening for low level (down to 200 feet/61 m) operations and high angle turns.
The P-8A Poseidon aircraft has an extensive communications system including radios and data links across Very High Frequency (VHF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF), High Frequency (HF) and SATellite COMmunications (SATCOM).
An internal fuel capacity of almost 34 tonnes/74,957 lbs. allows the P-8A Poseidon to conduct low level anti-submarine warfare missions at a distance of greater than 2,000 kilometres/1,243 miles/1,080 NM from base. The P-8A Poseidon will be compatible for air-to-air refueling with the Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).
|Role||Maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and response|
|Crew||Pilot, co-pilot, mission specialists|
|Engine||Two CFM56-7 BE (27) engines each with 27,000 lbs./12,247 kg thrust|
|Length||129.6 feet/39.5 m|
|Height||42 feet/12.8 m|
|Wingspan||123.4 feet/37.6 m|
|Weight (maximum)||189,201 lbs./85,820 kg|
|Maximum Speed||490 knots/564 mph/907 km/h|
|Range||4,050 NM/4,660 miles/7,500 km|
|Ceiling||41,000 feet/12,497 m|
|Capacity||Sonobuoys, 11 weapons stations|
|Weapons||Self-Protection Measures, Lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedo, AGM-84 Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles|