The Royal Australian Air Force’s P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, built by Boeing, has reached initial operating capability status five months ahead of schedule.
Australia has received six of 12 P-8As on order to date, RAAF said Tuesday.
The Number 11 Squadron operates the delivered units at a military airbase in Edinburgh, South Australia.
Marise Payne, Australian minister for defense, said the P-8A will succeed the country’s fleet of Lockheed Martin-built AP-3C Orion aircraft that has been in service for nearly four decades.
Air Marshal Leo Davies, chief of RAAF, said the Australian government has invested $3.9 billion to acquire the new maritime patrol aircraft along with Northrop Grumman-made MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicles.