Upgrades completed at a hangar at RAAF Base Edinburgh will enable deep maintenance of Australia’s fleet of 12 P-8A Poseidons to be undertaken locally, rather than offshore.
The five-year heavy maintenance cycle will now be completed at the hangar on base.
Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy described the P-8A Poseidon as one of the most advanced maritime patrol and response platforms in the world and in high demand to support Australia and its partners.
“The $60 million contract with Boeing Defence Australia to maintain the P-8A Poseidon fleet brings heavy maintenance work to Australia that would otherwise have been performed in the United States,” Mr Conroy said.
New purpose-built deeper maintenance facilities to accommodate the maintenance required will not be available in Adelaide until the mid-2020s.
Modification of the existing hangar by Defence industry partners Ventia and McMahons was necessary to accommodate the P-8A Poseidon, the largest aircraft to permanently operate from RAAF Base Edinburgh.
The facility will enable the overhaul of up to three aircraft each year, completing a deeper maintenance cycle about every 120 days.
The local P-8A management team identified an opportunity to modify an existing base rather than sending the aircraft interstate or overseas.
This allows the critical maintenance processes to be completed locally and more efficiently.
Works included raising the roof to a new clearance height and installing state-of-the-art LED lighting, stands and aircraft access docking. Installing a tail cut-out and lifting the roof will enable the P-8A Poseidon to move easily in and out of the hangar, increasing safety and reducing the risk of damage.