Defence has announced the signing of a $73.9 million Increment 3 Project Arrangement with the US Navy for the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
The signing formalises Australia’s continuing participation in the development of the Boeing 737 based P-8A, which is set to partially replace the RAAF’s fleet of 19 AP-3C Orions under Project Air 7000. The AP-3C is slated to be withdrawn from service around 2019.
The Increment 3 Project Arrangement is the first planned upgrade to the Australian P-8A fleet and aims to provide a range of upgraded capability to the Increment 2 aircraft, including a networked maritime strike weapon, air-sea rescue kit and enhanced target tracking.
The arrangement falls under the Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development Memorandum of Understanding between Defence and the United States Navy, which was signed in March this year and provides the framework by which the P-8A will be acquired, sustained and developed through its service life.