Australia will help Papua New Guinea take delivery of two new PAC-750XL aircraft this year.
The agreement formed part of a broader memorandum of understanding between the two nations to bring them together and improve PNG’s sovereign aviation capabilities.
The new PAC-750XL aircraft will specifically provide additional transport and operational capacity to respond to domestic and regional incidents while also being able to be reconfigured for different activities.
Chief of Defence, General Angus Campbell AO, DSC, said, “This is another significant chapter in our aviation cooperation, following Australia’s support to the PNGDF to help re-establish the airworthiness of its first PAC 750XL aircraft in 2021.”
“This is another significant chapter in our aviation cooperation, following Australia’s support to the PNGDF to help re-establish the airworthiness of its first PAC 750XL aircraft in 2021,” GEN Campbell added.
Major General Mark Goina said it was fitting for the arrangement to be signed at Avalon, where original discussions had been held to expand the Flights of Excellence program in 2017.
“On behalf of the PNGDF, I thank General Campbell and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for the Flights of Excellence program, which has significantly improved the PNGDF’s aviation capability. Our relationship is stronger than ever and will grow even stronger in the years to come,” Major General Goina expanded.
Through their longstanding defence cooperation, Australia and Papua New Guinea continue to address Papua New Guinea’s security priorities — the PAC 750XL aircraft will provide new opportunities for ADF and PNGDF personnel to work alongside one another, making the defence forces even closer.
Australia and Papua New Guinea are partnering on aviation safety, maintenance, and sustainment throughout the operational life of the aircraft through their joint Flights of Excellence program. This will include continuing joint training and capacity-building activities between ADF and PNGDF personnel.
This milestone builds on Australia and Papua New Guinea’s existing defence aviation cooperation. This includes a sister squadron relationship between the RAAF No. 35 Squadron and the PNGDF Air Transport Wing, as well as the signing of a memorandum of understanding on maintenance and training by the PNGDF and the RAAF in 2022.
The first aircraft will be delivered by April and the second by September 2023.