P-8A deeper maintenance takes off in South Australia

Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) has commenced deeper maintenance work on the first of Australia’s fleet of 12 P8-A Poseidon aircraft at RAAF Base Edinburgh.

In an Australian-first, major maintenance, repair, and overhaul work on the aircraft is being undertaken locally, rather than offshore, following three-months of modifications at the hangar on the Base to accommodate the program of works. BDA secured the $60 million deep maintenance contract for the Royal Australian Air Force’s fleet of P8-A Poseidon aircraft in September 2021.

Director of commercial derivative aircraft at Boeing Defence Australia, Darryn Fletcher, said the milestone built on BDA’s proven credentials in delivering deeper maintenance and through-life sustainment services in Australia.

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

“A new purpose-built hangar will be commissioned in 2025 but, with deeper maintenance scheduled to commence this year, we were part of a group led by Defence and including RAAF and local industry, to modify a hangar on base to accommodate the extended facilities required for deeper maintenance. This enables us to meet our contractual obligations without sending the aircraft interstate and keeps all P-8A servicing under one roof.”

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Pat Conroy MP, welcomed the commencement of the deeper maintenance program.

“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.”

The P-8A Poseidon is the largest aircraft to permanently operate from RAAF Base Edinburgh. In February 2022, it was announced that a facility adjacent to RAAF Base Edinburgh would be the home of a new purpose-built 737 deep maintenance and modification facility.

RAAF Base Edinburgh hosts the nation’s most advanced air warfare, surveillance, and intelligence capabilities and the facility will provide the critical infrastructure necessary for the maintenance and upgrade of the RAAF’s P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, and the E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft.

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