P-8 Poseidon MMA: Long-Range Maritime Patrol, and More
November 20/20: India India’s navy received its ninth P-8i surveillance aircraft on Wednesday, manufacturer Boeing Co. reported. The plane is the first delivered under an option contract, signed in 2016, for four additional aircraft, the remaining three of which are expected to arrive in 2021. The Indian navy was the first international customer to receive the plane, in 2013. The P-8i is modified from the Boeing 737-800ERX passenger plane and built originally for the US Navy. It is used in anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction roles. Armed with torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons, it can drop and monitor sonobuoys, and can operate in combination with Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance drone.
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 – 2020
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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