RAAF to replace current B737 BBJs

Gepubliceerd op 13 maart 2024 om 15:17

© Jueyu Tang

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is poised to replace its two Boeing 737-700 (BBJ) aircraft with two Boeing 737-8 (BBJ) models.

The current fleet, operated by 34 Squadron Eo et Redeo (I Go and I Return) based in Canberra (ACT), was leased in 2002 for a 22-year period. According to the Australian Ministry of Defence, the aircraft have failed to meet scheduled annual flight hours due to maintenance and associated readiness issues.

In December 2021, the former government approved the acquisition of two new aircraft. 

Subsequently, in February 2022, the National Australia Bank (NAB) was awarded an AUD 372 million contract (excluding sustainment) to supply the Commonwealth with two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft through 2036.

The replacement of the Boeing 737s (A36-001 and A36-002) marks the culmination of a comprehensive recapitalization of the Special Purpose Aircraft (SPA) fleet this year, with the new aircraft set for delivery to 34 Squadron. This replacement signifies the complete renewal of the entire fleet, following the replacement of the three Challenger CL-604s with an equal number of Dassault Falcon 7Xs in 2019.

The new Boeing 737-8 models will be registered as A62-001 and A62-002. The first one, MSN 67959/8532 (formerly N786BJ), was spotted in Basel (Switzerland) on March 1, 2024. The second aircraft, formerly registered as N787BJ, has MSN 67960/8610.