P-8 Poseidon MMA: Long-Range Maritime Patrol, and More
October 15/19: SAR A new UNIPAC III Search and Rescue (SAR) kit for the US Navy’s P-8A is now undergoing testing. The kit can provide 100 people with food, water and communications for an extended time. The testing, which is performed at PAX, but funded by the Royal Australian Air Force ensures those rescued are found and sustained with food, water and communications for an extended time. “The test program is a perfect example of the benefits reaped when two international partners join as part of a cooperative partnership“, said Squadron Leader Nathan Mula, an Australian P-8A Flight Test Tactical officer stationed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River (PAX) in Maryland. Operated by US Navy, Australia and India, the P-8 is performing maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations around the globe. Additionally, the United Kingdom, Norway, New Zealand and South Korea have ordered the aircraft with deliveries expected through the middle of the next decade.
Maritime surveillance and patrol is becoming more and more important, but the USA’s P-3 Orion turboprop fleet is falling apart. The P-7 Long Range Air ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) Capable Aircraft program to create an improved P-3 began in 1988, but cost overruns, slow progress, and interest in opening the competition to commercial designs led to the P-7’s cancellation for default in 1990. The successor MMA program was begun in March 2000, and Boeing beat Lockheed’s “Orion 21” with a P-8 design based on their ubiquitous 737 passenger jet. US Navy squadrons finally began taking P-8A Poseidon deliveries in 2012, but the long delays haven’t done their existing P-3 fleet any favors.
Filling the P-3 Orion’s shoes is no easy task. What missions will the new P-8A Poseidon face? What do we know about the platform, the project team, and ongoing developments? Will the P-3’s wide global adoption give its successor a comparable level of export opportunities? Australia and India have already signed on, but has the larger market shifted in the interim?
P-8A Poseidon: Platform & Capabilities
P-8: Upgrades & Variants
The P-8’s BAMS Companion: Kicking It Up a Notch
P-8A Poseidon Program
Program Goal & Competitors
US P-8A Program Budgets
US Numbers and Basing
P-8A Industrial Partners
P-8A Poseidon: Contracts & Key Events
FY 2015 – 2019
FY 2002 – 2006
Appendix A: India’s Interest & Broader Export Potential
Additional Readings & Sources
Background: P-8 Aircraft
Background: P-8 Components & Complementors
Background: Multimission Maritime Aircraft Program
Market & Competitors
News & Views
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