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Local hub commences sustainment of RAAF P-8A Poseidon fleet

The first of Australia’s 12 advanced maritime patrol aircraft is undergoing maintenance work at a newly upgraded RAAF base hangar. 

The first of Australia’s 12 advanced maritime patrol aircraft is undergoing maintenance work at a newly upgraded RAAF base hangar. 

Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) has commenced deep maintenance work of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon fleet, with the first aircraft undergoing work at a hangar in RAAF Base Edinburgh near Adelaide as part of a $60 million contract. 


The modification works, completed in collaboration with local defence industry firms Ventia and McMahon over a three-month period, aimed to ensure the fleet could be sustained locally rather than relocating work interstate or in the United States. 

The upgraded facility is tipped to enable the overhaul of up to three aircraft each year, completing a deeper maintenance cycle every 120 days.

Works are expected to include raising the roof to a new clearance height and installing advanced LED lighting, stands and aircraft access docking.

This aims to improve the P-8A Poseidon’s mobility in and out of the hangar, increasing safety and reducing the risk of damage.

According to Defence, the modified hangar would be transferred to the RAAF in 2025 following the commissioning of a new purpose-built deeper maintenance facility at RAAF Base Edinburgh.


Adelaide is not expected to host maintenance work until new facilities are developed, with work scheduled to be completed in the mid-2020s.

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy welcomed the commencement of sustainment work at the hangar, noting the benefits for local industry.

“The P-8A Poseidon is one of the most advanced maritime patrol and response platforms in the world and is in high demand to support Australia and our partners,” Minister Conroy said.

“The $60 million contract with Boeing Defence Australia to maintain the P-8A Poseidon fleet brings heavy maintenance work to Australia that would otherwise have been performed in the United States.”

Darryn Fletcher, Boeing Defence Australia director of commercial derivative aircraft, said the company would draw from its experience sustaining the RAAF’s E-7A Wedgetail, F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet and F-111fleets.

“We have also provided through-life sustainment services for RAAF’s P-8A fleet since their introduction into service in 2016,” he added.

“Taking on the planned deeper maintenance program is a considerable extension of BDA’s local P-8A credentials, a boost to Australian capability, and ensures enhanced mission readiness for the ADF’s high-demand P-8A fleet.

“It also has positive implications for other P-8 operators in the region.”

The initial contract to support the RAAF P-8A Poseidon’s five-year heavy maintenance cycle was awarded to BDA in September 2021.

According to Boeing, in total, there are 150 P-8 aircraft in service with the US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Indian Navy, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

New Zealand, Korea and Germany are scheduled to accept the aircraft into service in 2022, 2023 and 2024, respectively.

[Related: P-8A Poseidon makes history at Exercise Diamond Storm]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

Local hub commences sustainment of RAAF P-8A Poseidon fleet
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