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Aust invests in maritime aircraft project
« Reactie #1 Gepost op: 05/10/2012 | 11:35 uur »
Aust invests in maritime aircraft project

October 05, 2012

AUSTRALIA will commit further funds toward the development of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, to replace the RAAF's ageing AP-3C Orions from the end of this decade.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare have signed a new agreement with the United States Navy to participate in the third P-8A development stage, contributing $73.9 million towards the project.
That formalises Australia's ongoing participation in the US$5 billion project.
Mr Smith said Orions had served Australia but they would eventually be replaced.
"We will ultimately replace our Orion P-3s with the P-8. That is a long-term project," he told reporters at RAAF Amberley in Queensland.
"The Orions are expected to remain in service until the end of this decade or the start of the 2020s. But we have committed ourselves to further work on the P-8 project in collaboration with our United States colleagues."
The RAAF currently operates 19 Lockheed AP-3C Orions which entered service in the mid-1980s.
They have been progressively upgraded with advanced radar and camera systems and can perform maritime and overland surveillance, search and rescue missions and also hunt for submarines.
Orions have played an important role in border protection operations and two operated in the Middle East from 2003, conducting missions over the Persian Gulf region as well as over Afghanistan.
In 2007, the government gave initial approval to acquire the Poseidon, an aircraft based on the widely-used Boeing 737 airliner and which is set to replace Orions in US Navy service. Australia initially contributed $150 million to join the P-8A program, subsequently adding a further $100 million.
Mr Smith said the Orions had long been based at RAAF Edinburgh in South Australia and it was anticipated the Poseidons would also be based in South Australia.
"Whilst we have made no formal decision - it's a decision that we don't need to make for some considerable time - there's an expectation that the P-8s will probably end up in Edinburgh," he said.

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