Boeing to Supply P8 Maintenance Trainers to Australia


Boeing will supply P8 training systems to the Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF). This will be for advanced training of personnel handling the P-8 Poseidon fleet aircraft. As part of the US Navy and RAAF Cooperative Program, the virtual trainers systems will be used for training P-8A maintenance personnel from early 2018. The highlight is that it will be the first international sale of the systems outside the US.

The P8 maintenance training system provides interactive, high-fidelity simulations. They are built on actual mission systems software, reports UPI.  The P8 training system offers full-scale replicas of aircraft components in the hardware-based trainers. Currently, they are in use at the P-8A Poseidon fleet of US Navy. The US Air Force also uses P-8 maintenance trainers. A senior Boeing official explained the strategic boost from the systems.

“This provides the RAAF with the ability to train its maintainers on more than 1,400 maintenance procedures using the Boeing provided suite of devices,” said Tom Wagner, Boeing’s P-8 maintenance program manager.

Australia will be procuring at least eight maritime surveillance aircraft P-8A Poseidon. In February 2014 the Australian government approved the acquisition of the aircrafts. That contract also mandates Boeing’s support in terms of training, spares and equipment, reports The Australian Defence Magazine.

In January 2015, Australia placed the order for Boeing P-8 aircrew training system to train pilots and mission crew on the use of sensors, communications and weapons systems. Boeing Aerostructures Australia manufactures all ailerons for 737 series aircraft including the P-8. Boeing will start delivering the aircraft in late 2016 and the P-8A training systems will follow in 2018.

According to Boeing’s website, P-8 training system offers a highly comprehensive aircrew training program at a fraction of the costs required in live aircraft training. It combines equipment, software, courseware, personnel and logistical support. Boeing’s training solution simulates aircraft and mission systems. It permitsextreme accuracy in sophisticated mission rehearsals.

According to Boeing, the first trainers were developed in St. Louis. The US Navy took the delivery in 2011. So far, Boeing has delivered two dozen electronic classrooms to the US Navy’s P-8A Integrated Training Center at Jacksonville. The US Navy is using ground based P-8 Training systems to cover 70 percent of its training requirements.

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