The RAAF's first P-8A Poseidon aircraft is pictured arriving into Townsville after completing a flight North from RAAF Base Edinburgh via airwork at Tamworth, the Gold Coast and eventually Hamo. After a short time on the ground at Townsville, it returned South to RAAF Base Amberley.
A47-001 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Blackcat 11".
The P-8A is a fundamental element of Australia’s future maritime patrol and response strategy. Together with the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), the P-8A aircraft will replace the RAAF's Lockheed AP-3C Orions which are due for withdrawal in 2018-19.
The P-8A Poseidon uses advanced sensors and mission systems, including an advanced multi-role radar, high definition cameras, and an acoustic system with four times the processing capacity of the current AP-3C Orions.
The Government has committed to acquiring a total of 15 P-8A Poseidon aircraft. 12 P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft have been approved for acquisition with an additional three aircraft subject to normal Government Defence acquisition approval processes, including the timeframe for delivery.
The first aircraft arrived in Canberra in November 2016, with the remaining 11 aircraft to be delivered by March 2020. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the first eight P-8A's is scheduled for the period 2017 - 2020.
Sincere thanks to Townsville plane spotter Leroy for allowing us to share his great photos of this great visitor to Queensland!
All photos taken by Leroy ©