The Commonwealth will provide $659 million in funding at RAAF Base Edinburgh to support the RAAF's new P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
The funding comprises $250 million for a Boeing training simulator system at the base. Boeing Defence Australia has commenced fitout of the 15,500 square metre Poseidon Integrated Training Centre which will accommodate 70 advanced P-8A operational and tactical training devices including two pilot simulators, two Air Combat Officer simulators, and a Boeing 737 fuselage Ordnance Load Trainer.
Boeing Defence Australia P-8A Poseidon program lead Brett Newell said the new facility represented a massive leap forward for SA’s maritime aircraft training capability.
“The comprehensive P-8A training solution we’re installing over the next six months supports one of the biggest shifts in Australia’s anti-surface and anti-submarine capability history. The server room alone is almost as big as the entire AP-3C Orion training facility,” Newell said.
“These trainers will ensure RAAF pilots and mission crews are prepared to take full advantage of the P-8A Poseidon capabilities for any mission, at any time.”
Overseeing the P-8A transition program, Deputy Director Capability Transition WGCDR Gary Lewis said Boeing will provide support to the training devices and will handover operational control of the training facility to the Royal Australian Air Force.
Defence Minister Marise Payne said the simulator will be a part of a broader investment in RAAF Edinburgh to make it ‘Poseidon ready’ by extending the runway and building new state of the art maintenance hangers and facilities.”
A sum of $409 million will also be spent to improve those facilities for full operations, estimated for completion by early 2019.
“Lendlease, the contractor engaged by Defence to construct the facilities at RAAF Base Edinburgh, has advised that the vast majority of the work to construct the facilities is going to contractors from the local area,” Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said.