Australia’s first P-8A Poseidon aircraft has completed its maiden flight.
The aircraft flew a short distance from Renton Airfield to Boeing Field in Washington State USA, to where the P-8A’s sophisticated mission systems will be installed as part of project AIR 7000, Australian Department of Defense said in a statement.
The $5.4 billion P-8A program will provide Australia’s future manned maritime patrol and response aircraft capability, replacing in part the AP-3C Orion aircraft.
The P-8A Poseidon is 39.5 metres long, has a maximum takeoff weight of 85,820kg and a wingspan of 37.6m. Powered by two jet engines, it has a top speed is 907km/h with a maximum range of 7,500km.
Head of Aerospace Division, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Catherine Roberts said, “Aircraft production includes around $25 million of high-tech production work undertaken by local subsidiary, Boeing Aerostructures Australia.”
“The primary roles of the P-8A include the detection and response to naval surface and submarine threats, surveillance and reconnaissance, and assisting in search and rescue operations,” she added.