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Australia to acquire eight P-8A Poseidon aircraft


P-8A Poseidon. Photo: Boeing.

CANBERRA (BNS): The Australian Government has approved the acquisition of eight P-8A Poseidon long-range maritime surveillance aircraft to boost its maritime surveillance capabilities.

The Boeing-built state-of-the-art aircraft, to be procured at a cost of A$ 4 billion (USD 3.6 billion), will dramatically boost Australia's ability to monitor its maritime approaches and patrol over 2.5 million square kilometres of the country's marine jurisdiction - an area equating to nearly 4 per cent of the world's oceans.

The first aircraft will be delivered in 2017. All the eight P-8As will be fully operational by 2021.

The Government has also approved an option for a further four aircraft subject to the outcomes of the Defence White Paper review, according to the Department of Defence.

Together with high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles, the Poseidons will replace the Royal Australian Air Force's AP-3C Orions that have served the country for over four decades.

The P-8A is a potent and highly versatile aircraft. Other than patrolling Australia's maritime approaches it can conduct search and rescue, anti-submarine and maritime strike missions using torpedoes and Harpoon missiles.


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