P-8 Poseidon MMA: Long-Range Maritime Patrol, and More
October 22/19: Australian Deployment To Middle East The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed one of its Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft to the Middle East in support of the International Maritime Security Construct aimed at assuring the safety and protection of maritime navigation in the Gulf region. Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds announced in an October 18 statement that the aircraft’s advanced patrol surveillance capabilities will be used to support the safe transit of naval and merchant vessels, and thus provide “a modest but meaningful contribution” to the mission. The P-8A is expected to remain in the region until the end of November. A series of incidents in the Strait of Hormuz have led to a US-led multinational effort to enhance maritime security in the region. The arrival of the P-8A Poseidon is in line with the Australian Government’s commitment to the coalition.
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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