AU$139.5 Million Contract to Upgrade RAAF’s P-8A Poseidon Fleet

Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy has unveiled a significant AU$139.5 million contract with Boeing Defence Australia aimed at enhancing the software, systems, and sensors of the Royal Australian Air Force’s P-8A Poseidon fleet. The contract, part of the Increment 3 Block 2 upgrades, will fortify the fleet’s anti-submarine warfare, maritime strike, and intelligence collection capabilities.

The initiative will generate 50 Australian jobs, encompassing six Certificate IV aircraft maintenance engineering apprentices, 38 Certificate II aerospace workers, and several supply chain trainees at the RAAF Base Edinburgh. The upgrade process will commence with Australia’s initial two aircraft undergoing modification in Jacksonville, Florida, with the remaining 12 to be completed by Boeing Defence Australia at RAAF Base Edinburgh, South Australia.

Minister Conroy hailed the announcement as a boost to employment, highlighting the creation of 50 new positions and the reinforcement of the existing 283-strong Boeing Defence Australia workforce at RAAF Base Edinburgh. Naomi Smith, Boeing Defence Australia’s director of sustainment operations, emphasized the augmentation of the current workforce, which currently provides maintenance services for the P-8A Poseidon fleet.

Boeing Defence Australia will actively recruit and train apprentices and supply chain trainees, facilitating upskilling and offering long-term employment opportunities in a vital industry. Minister Conroy stressed the significance of investing in the P-8A Poseidon fleet’s upgrade, citing its contribution to job creation and ensuring the Defence Force’s readiness to safeguard Australians.

The upgrades are anticipated to involve over 300,000 hours of maintenance work over four years, with each aircraft requiring approximately 7.5 months for completion. New employees will undergo formal training with South Australia’s Flight One Academy, coupled with on-the-job training, to prepare for their roles starting in September 2026.

Additionally, the contract includes provisions for extending beyond its current 2030 end date to accommodate the delivery of two new P-8As to the RAAF in 2024 and 2025.


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