Australian Air Force Declares Initial Operating Capability for Boeing-Built Poseidon Aircraft

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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.