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AIR 7000: PHASES 1B and 2B

Points of Contact

Phase Scope

Phase 1B - Multi-mission Unmanned Aerial System (MUAS) - is intended to acquire High Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Systems for maritime patrol and other surveillance.

Phase 2B - Maritime Patrol Aircraft - is intended to provide the manned component of the ADF maritime patrol capability that will replace the AP-3C Orion aircraft.


AIR 7000 has considered the future of the current AP-3C capability in the context of future ADF requirements for maritime patrol and response. This included the exploration of a broad range of options including aircraft refurbishment/re-manufacture or replacement, and the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) as an adjunct to manned platforms. While the project will be focused on the acquisition of a capability centred on maritime patrol and response roles, it will also support electronic and land surveillance roles.

Phase 1B is intended to consider and further develop options leading to the acquisition of a high altitude long endurance unmanned aerial system that can perform all-weather, long endurance surveillance and reconnaissance tasks over maritime and land environments. The Phase 1 capability is an essential adjunct to the manned capability acquired under Air 7000 Phase 2B.

Phase 2B will acquire a manned Maritime Patrol Aircraft system capable of performing maritime patrol and response tasks. Phase 2B is being driven by the Life-of-type of the AP-3C. The life-of-type for the AP-3C is determined by the increasing cost of addressing airframe fatigue and corrosion, aircraft system supportability and mission system obsolescence. The airframe and aircraft systems, including engines, hydraulics, electrical and fuel systems will become more costly to support as the aircraft ages. AIR 7000 Phase 2B gained first pass approval on 16 June 2007 to acquire a fleet of eight Poseidon P-8A aircraft through Government to Government program with the USN.

Estimated Phase Expenditure

Phase 1B – $1000m to $1500m
Phase 2B – $3500m to $4500m

Points of Contact

Capability Staff: Defence Materiel Organisation:
Deputy Director Maritime Patrol and Response Director Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
(02) 6265 1130 (02) 6144 2000
Last updated: July 2012
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