Philip Smart | Adelaide
The Royal Australian Air Force has become the first international customer for Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon training system, ordering a set of trainers and simulators that will be delivered in 2018, the year after the aircraft enters service.
The system uses simulators to train pilots and mission crews to operate the aircraft, its sensors, communications and weapons systems without relying on costly live flights.
Although details of the training system were not announced, the US Navy’s equivalent system at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida includes an operational flight trainer derived from a commercially available Level-D Boeing 737 flight simulator, plus a fully mission capable weapons tactics trainer, a weapons system trainer, flight and mission desktop trainers and networked online courseware.
“Boeing will deliver a seamless and comprehensive training solution for our customers’ pilots and mission crews,” said Tom Shadrach, Boeing P-8 program manager on the Training Systems and Government Services team.
“It will prepare them to use the world’s most advanced anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities for any mission, at any time.”
In February 2014, the Australian government approved the acquisition of eight P-8As and supporting infrastructure to include training and initial spares and support equipment. Aircraft deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017.