South Australians will play a crucial role in maintaining and supporting the Royal Australian Air Force’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft at RAAF Base Edinburgh, after a new deal was signed with Boeing Defence Australia which is creating 40 new jobs. The delivery of the 12th P-8A Poseidon to a newly upgraded airfield and support infrastructure at RAAF Base Edinburgh was announced in December 2019. The new contract provides the essential Australian industry capacity necessary to operate and maintain these advanced aircraft and their systems.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said Boeing’s six-year contract would deliver support services to deliver cutting-edge surveillance and response capabilities. “The initial A$300 million contract provides a highly experienced maintenance, engineering and logistics workforce to Defence,” Price said. “This will grow the workforce to over 160 from Boeing and their sub-contracted personnel from Airbus Australia Pacific, delivering vital services to the P-8A capability.” Price said Boeing and Airbus Australia Pacific’s continued industry partnership had provided support arrangements for the P-8A Poseidon since July 2016. “Our Australian workforce is vital to the continued sustainment and upgrades which are critical to the Poseidon’s capabilities,” Price said.
“Since standing up the interim sustainment contract in 2016, Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) has partnered with the RAAF to support the seamless introduction into service of this critical new capability, and ensured the highest levels of operational availability to enable the P-8A to perform its critical maritime patrol role,” said BDA director of Commercial Derivative Aircraft Darryn Fletcher. “Under this new contract, BDA will not only be responsible for the Australian elements of the sustainment program but also takes on a platform steward role. This means taking full ownership for everything needed to keep the platform flying and broadens BDA’s responsibilities to include asset management, aircraft-on-ground responsibilities, and cyber-worthiness amongst other tasks.”
“Defence recognises BDA’s strong P-8A sustainment performance since the successful introduction of the capability in 2016, and their essential contribution to the P-8A capability,” said Air Commodore David Scheul, director general of Aerospace Surveillance and Response platforms in Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group. “Under the platform stewardship model we look forward to BDA continuing to improve operational and capability outcomes for Air Force, in concert with US Navy provided sustainment and capability development support under the P-8A Cooperative Programme.”