Boeing is to upgrade the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) 12-strong fleet of P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, under a contract worth $139 million.

Announced on 15 April, the activity will “deliver Increment 3 Block 2 software, systems and sensor upgrades to enhance the anti-submarine warfare, maritime strike and intelligence-collection capabilities” of the 737NG-based type, Boeing says.


Source: Commonwealth of Australia

The Royal Australian Air Force currently operates a dozen P-8As, with two more on order

“These upgrades will ensure Australia’s P-8As maintain best-for-mission capability, and support the achievement of initial operating capability in June 2028,” the company adds.

The programme’s first two aircraft will undergo modification work in Jacksonville, Florida, with the other 10 to be upgraded at RAAF Base Edinburgh, South Australia, from September 2026.

“We anticipate the upgrades will involve more than 300,000 hours of maintenance work over four years, with each aircraft taking around 7.5 months to complete,” says Boeing Defence Australia director of sustainment operations Naomi Smith.

The RAAF – which has operated the P-8A since 2016 – has a further two examples on order, with deliveries due this year and in 2025.

“There is provision for the [Increment 3 Block 2] upgrade contract to be extended beyond its 2030 end date to accommodate these two aircraft,” Boeing says.