Retirement of Australia’s long-serving P-3 Orion fleet—planned for 2021—moved a step closer on March 20 with the announcement that its replacement, the Boeing P-8A Poseidon, had attained initial operating capability (IOC) five months ahead of schedule.

The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, said that declaring IOC is “a significant milestone because the P-8A is a fundamental element of Australian Defence Force‘s future maritime strategy. The arrival of the P-8A has allowed the Air Force, under Plan Jericho, to develop and evolve new operating concepts, support arrangements, and sustainment options.” – AINonline

The first Boeing P-8A Poseidon arrived in Australia in late 2016. The country has committed to purchasing a total of 15 aircraft.

Featured image by Boeing