Boeing P-8A aircraft contract bolsters Australia maritime defense amid rising regional tensions, says GlobalData

RAAF P-8A Poseidon
RAAF P-8A Poseidon

Following the news that Boeing has been awarded a contract to deliver software, systems and sensor upgrades to enhance the anti-submarine warfare, maritime strike and intelligence collection capabilities of the Royal Australian Airforce’s (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft;

Akash Pratim Debbarma, Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“China’s increasing military influence in countries such as Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, situated in the backyard of Australia’s coastal territory, made it imperative for the country to maintain a strong fleet of maritime patrol aircraft capable of addressing modern challenges involving coastal defense and surveillance. This $139.5 million deal with Boeing will reinforce its ability to safeguard Australia’s interests by effectively patrolling the country’s vast coastline of 34,218 kilometers.

“According to GlobalData’s Fleet Size database, 12 units of P-8A aircraft are in active service with the RAAF, while 2 units are yet to be delivered. Cumulatively, Australia spent about $3.8 billion to procure these 14 P-8A aircraft from Boeing to replace its aging AP-3C Orions aircraft. The contract to procure the first batch of Australian P-8A aircraft was awarded to Boeing back in 2014.

“Boeing’s ongoing collaboration with the RAAF is a testament to a long-term partnership between the two entities to ensure the P-8A fleet will remain technologically superior and mission-ready for years to come. It will not only benefit the RAAF to achieve a mission-ready and advanced fleet of maritime patrol aircraft, but the deal will also create job opportunities and skill development for many Australians. RAAF’s decision to upgrade its fleet of P-8A aircraft, which are specifically designed to hunt down submarines and other surface threats, highlights the country’s intent to maintain its preparedness level. This is not surprising, as in recent years there have been multiple reports of intrusion by Chinese submarines in the Indo-Pacific region.”