Arrival of the P-8A Poseidon

16 Nov 2016

In July 2007, Australia announced it planned to replace its ageing Lockheed AP-3C Orions with Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The P-8A was to be developed cooperatively with the United States Navy and the Australian Defence Force.

Australia ordered its first eight P-8A aircraft in February 2014 and added an additional four in January 2016. The RAAF crews selected to fly the first P-8As were first trained to fly on the United States Navy’s P-8s. It was not until 16 November 2016 that the RAAF flew their own P-8A with crew from No 11 Squadron. Both Nos 11 and 292 Squadrons, based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia, fly the P-8A.

The size of the P-8A’s fuel tanks allow for non-stop flights greater than 2,000km, but its ability to be refuelled air-to-air enables flights of a greater range and duration.

The P-8A has extensive suites of technological, weapons, communications, and mission systems.

The P-8A has conducted missions under Operations Gateway, Argos, Manitou, Bushfire Assist and Resolute. The RAAF plans to utilise the P-8A alongside the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton remotely piloted aircraft system from 2023 in the maritime security role.

To learn more, download this extract from Aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force by David Richardson and Peter Wood.

Related base

  • RAAF Base Edinburgh

Related aircraft

  • Poseidon