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P-8A Poseidon acquisitions move forward

Australia reports that the U.S. Navy has implemented an advanced acquisition contract for its purchase of eight P-8A Poseidon maritime aircraft.
By Richard Tomkins   |   Aug. 26, 2014 at 4:20 PM   |   Comments

CANBERRA, Australia, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has put into effect an advanced acquisition contract for Australia's procurement of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

The Australian military plans a fleet of eight P-8As to replace its ageing AP-3C Orion fleet.

Implementation of the advance acquisition contract will give Boeing time to place lead-time orders for components in support of Australia's first four P-8As.

"Together with high altitude unmanned aerial vehicles, these aircraft will replace the Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orions that have served Australia so well for over four decades," said Minister for Defense David Johnston. "These state-of-the-art aircraft will dramatically boost Australia's ability to monitor its maritime approaches."

He said the P-8A could also conduct search and rescue, anti-submarine and maritime strike missions using torpedoes and harpoon missiles.

The P-8A is a multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft with an airframe based on Boeing's 737-800ERX commercial jet. It was introduced into service last year. It has a range of 1,200 nautical miles and a cruise speed of 440 knots.

The first Poseidon is scheduled for delivery to Australia in 2017, with all remaining aircraft delivered by the following year.

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