11/17/2016: The Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies AO, CSC and President Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific of Boeing, Ms Maureen Dougherty officially welcomed the arrival of the first RAAF P-8A Poseidon aircraft at Defence Establishment Fairbairn.
The P-8A Poseidon will provide the RAAF with an advanced Maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Response (MISRR) capability. The Poseidon will support a full range of tasks, including anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, maritime and overland ISR, electronic support, and a search and rescue capability.
The P-8A Poseidon will be networked with other Air Force and ADF maritime capabilities as outlined in the Defence White Paper.
True force design will transform Air Force and the wider ADF into a fighting force that maximizes innovation opportunities.
In an interview earlier this year with Air Commodore Heap, the Commander of the RAAF’s Surveillance Response Group, he discussed the coming of the P-8 and its impact with Second Line of Defense.
Air Commodore Heap sees the platform as evolving in the integrated battlespace and underscored that how Australia was acquiring the platform was central to how it could co-evolve with other key assets.
“With FMS, you are buying a car off of the showroom floor.
We did not do that here; we are partners in the program, which allows us to become de facto shareholders in the program itself.
We are a cooperative development partner.
This puts the RAAF at the ongoing development table for the life of the program, to enable us to influence the capabilities of the platform as it evolves, ensuring that we can get an evolved platform that meets our needs.
For example, we needed the aircraft to perform a search and rescue function, something the USN did not have as a core role; they rely on the USCG.
But we needed a specialist payload to do this, and courtesy of the cooperative program, the USN has agreed to have an interim capability, followed by a fully developed deployable SAR payload built into the program as a priority. The USN as a our partner is also interested in using the kit on occasions when long distance maritime search is required.
The USN and your embedded RAAF instructors are currently flying Increment 1 but will Increment 2 will be the version that we will get with the first aircraft. We will initially get a mix of Increment 1 and 2 aircraft, but will be spirally upgraded to an all increment 2, then 3 fleet in lockstep with the USN.
We are deeply involved with the USN as well in designing and working Increment 3.
It is important to understand that what we are talking about is the actual evolution of the platform, and wider weapon system over time, which from our point of view needs to work with Wedgetail, F-35, Growler, Triton, the Air Warfare Destroyer, Special Forces and other core warfighting assets in the battlespace.”
Credit Video: Australian Ministry of Defense:11/16/16
For our special report on the P-8/Triton dyad see the following: