P-8 Poseidon MMA: Long-Range Maritime Patrol, and More
September 18/18: ROK request The Republic of Korea wants to purchase six P-8A Patrol Aircraft from the United States. The possible FMS is valued at $2.1 billion. The potential deal would also include several joint tactical radio systems, GPS, missile warning sensors, radar, electronic support measures and counter measure dispensing systems. The Poseidon is designed to perform a variety of tasks and provides a Navy with an anti-submarine, anti-ship and anti-smuggling platform that can sweep the area, launch sensors or weapons as needed, and remain aloft for many hours. The plane is equipped with a combination of sonobuoys, radars, day/night surveillance equipment, and ESM gear. Its 11 hardpoints can be armed with Mk 54 lightweight torpedoes, depth charges, and some free-fall bombs. Prime contractor will be Boeing. Other contractors include – among others – Raytheon, WESCAM, Rockwell Collins, Lockheed Martin and DRS. The DSCA notes, that the “proposed sale will support US foreign policy and national security objectives by enhancing Korea’s naval capabilities to provide national defense and significantly contribute to coalition operations”.
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 – 2018
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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