Page 8 - Australian Defence Magazine August 2018
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Australia confirms Triton purchase
The Triton will undertake ISR missions alongside the RAAF's P8-A Poseidons.
project of this nature. As Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies explained earlier this year in a From the Source interview with ADM, Triton will be based at Edinburgh but will operate from all over the country given its long-range capability.
Australia has already taken delivery of seven Poseidon aircraft and achieved Initial Operational Capability in early 2018. The full fleet of 12 Poseidon aircraft is expected to be delivered and in operation by 2022.
The first of the Triton aircraft is expected to be introduced into service in mid-2023 with all six aircraft planned to be delivered and in operation by late 2025.
ADM understands that an option for a seventh platform has not been taken off the table at this time.
The manned/unmanned mix of P-8As and Triton replaces the Orion fleet, which have performed exceptionally on opera- tions throughout its distinguished service. The last of these aircraft will be over 40 years old when they are withdrawn from service in 2023.
TRITON has reached a significant mile- stone with the government investing $1.4 billion to acquire the first of six MQ-4C Triton remotely piloted aircraft through a cooperative program with the US Navy.
The Triton will complement the surveil- lance role of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft through sustained operations at long ranges as well as being able to undertake a range of intel- ligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tasks.
“Together these aircraft will significantly enhance our anti-submarine warfare and
maritime strike capability, as well as our search and rescue capability,” according to a statement from Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.
As part of this investment Australia will also enter into a $200 million cooperative program with the US Navy for the develop- ment, production and sustainment of the MQ-4C Triton.
As part of the initial $1.4 billion invest- ment in the Triton system, the Government will invest $364 million on new facilities at RAAF Bases Edinburgh and Tindal, as well the necessary ground control systems, sup- port and training required to implement a
NZ selects P-8A for future air surveillance capability
NEW Zealand’s Defence Minister Ron Mark announced that the Coalition gov- ernment has selected the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft to fulfil its Future Air Surveillance Capability (FASC) requirements.
The announcement on July 9 covers the purchase of four P-8As to replace the RN- ZAF’s fleet of six Lockheed Martin P-3K2 Orions, which first entered service in 1966 and are expected to reach their life of type in 2025.
The aircraft will be delivered in time to begin operations with the RNZAF’s No.5 Squadron in 2023. Currently based at RN- ZAF Base Auckland (Whenuapai), 5 Sqn will relocate to RNZAF Ohakea in time to commence P-8A operations.
According to the NZ government, the deal is valued at NZ$2.36 billion (AU$2.17 billion) and will also include the purchase of training systems, infrastructure and en- try into service costs.
The press release accom- panying the announcement stated that the capital cost will be spread over several fiscal years, out to 2025/26, and that Wellington consid- ered the P-8A to be the “most cost-effective maritime pa- trol aircraft available.”
“The purchase ensures the
Defence Force can continue
to deliver the country’s mari-
time surveillance, resource
protection, humanitarian
and disaster response around NZ and across the South Pacific,” Mark said.
The decision strengthens the Coalition government’s Pacific Reset by providing a maritime patrol capability with the signifi- cant range and endurance needed to assist partners in the region.
“The purchase enables NZ to continue to deploy in a wide range of airborne maritime situations independently, and when required, work effectively with partners including Australia, the UK
8 | August 2018 |
NZ's acquisition of four P8-As will ensure
a high degree of interoperability with the RAAF.
and the US, which all operate, or will op- erate, the aircraft.”
Besides Australia, which has now received seven of the 12 P-8As it currently has on order, the Indian Navy also operates the very simi- lar P-8I Neptune version in our region. On June 25, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) also an- nounced that it would seek to purchase an un- specified number of P-8As from the US Gov- ernment via the Foreign Military Sales process, rather than run an open competition.

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