The P-8A Poseidon simulator and training systems at RAAF Base Edinburgh, the largest outside the US, have been officially handed over to the RAAF.
The new centre accommodates a significant collection of 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.
While operational control of the training facility has now transitioned to the RAAF, Boeing will continue to maintain the training devices.
Boeing Australia vice president and managing director Darren Edwards said Boeing’s trainers will ensure RAAF pilots and mission crews are prepared to take full advantage of the P-8A Poseidon capabilities.
“We are incredibly proud of the comprehensive training solution we have installed to support Australia’s new maritime surveillance capability,” Edwards said. “Using virtual training environments, the men and women operating and maintaining the P-8A Poseidon can realistically rehearse for complex missions at a fraction of the cost of live aircraft training.”
Minister for Defence Marise Payne said the P-8A training system would better prepare ADF pilots and maintenance crews for their demanding roles.
“This $470 million facility marks the beginning of a transformation of our training that will support Air Force’s ability to meet emerging threats and future challenges,” Minister Payne said.
“The facility will deliver over 39 separate training courses which will minimise training demands on the P-8A Poseidon aircraft, reducing aircraft fatigue, increasing safety and improving availability for higher priority tasking.”
The facility is part of the government’s $5.2 billion investment in 12 P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, which can conduct a range of tasks including anti-submarine warfare; maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; electronic support; as well as supporting search and rescue missions.
The facility is being constructed under contract with Australian industry with an estimated workforce of up to 700 personnel during peak construction and 2,200 employees over the course of construction.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said the partnerships between Defence, the US Navy, and Boeing have enabled delivery on time and on budget.
“The training system will be maintained and supported by Boeing, creating up to 30 jobs,” Minister Pyne said.
“The project is part of a broader ISR hub being developed at RAAF Base Edinburgh, which will support and create highly skilled jobs in SA.”