Australia has recently announced that the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) fleet of P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Response aircraft will undergo an upgrade to the latest capability upgrade available for the aircraft, Increment Three Block Two.
This upgrade will enhance the aircraft’s anti-submarine warfare, strike, and intelligence capabilities. The first aircraft is expected to begin upgrades in 2026, with the final aircraft completed in 2030.
The upgraded P-8A Poseidon aircraft will continue to be operated by RAAF’s No. 11 Squadron at RAAF Base Edinburgh, South Australia. The P-8A was declared operational in March 2018, and currently, the fleet consists of 12 aircraft.
In December 2020, the Commonwealth announced the acquisition of two more aircraft through a cooperative program with the U.S. Navy. The upgrade will ensure the RAAF P-8A’s operational effectiveness into the 2030s.
The U.S. and Australian militaries continue to enjoy over 100 years of “mateship” through cooperative programs like the P-8A, and PMA-290 handles the acquisition, development, support, and delivery of the Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
“The Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office (PMA-290) works closely every day with our Australian teammates to promote international security and enhance interoperability, and this upgrade will set us up for future success in these endeavors,” said Capt. Eric Gardner, program manager of PMA-290.