Tag Archives: P-8A Poseidon

RFCM system

BAE Systems received a $4 million contract from the U.S. Navy to conduct a quick-turnaround demonstration of a new Radio Frequency CounterMeasure (RFCM) system for the P-8A Poseidon. The pod-mounted RFCM system is a leading-edge, lightweight, high-power system that will add a new self-protection capability to this next-generation U.S. Navy aircraft.

P8-A Poseidon
Image shows large P8-A Poseidon Navy aircraft in flight against a dusk sky with thin cloud coverage with attached AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy

«The ability to meet this unprecedented response time underscores our agility, focus on meeting customer needs, and our ultimate goal of protecting our warfighters», said Don Davidson, director of the Advanced Compact Electronic Warfare Solutions product line at BAE Systems. «A process that used to take 18 to 24 months has been scaled to five or six months, which is remarkable, as is deploying this new self-protection capability».

The rapid response is the result of collaboration among small focus teams who developed an innovative approach to the design and fabrication of the system’s mechanical parts. As a result, BAE Systems will design, build, integrate, and ship the RFCM system in approximately five months, followed by two months of flight testing on the P-8A Poseidon platform. Testing will begin early in 2021.

The RFCM system consists of a small form factor jammer, a high-powered amplifier and the AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy (FOTD).

Work on the contract will be performed at the company’s state-of-the-art facility in Nashua, New Hampshire.

AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy
AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy

 

AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy

The AN/ALE-55 subsystem consists of an on-board signal conditioning assembly and the FOTD. The signal conditioning assembly converts RF frequencies to light for transfer through the fiber-optic line. The system has two modes. In the primary mode, the onboard EW system detects and analyzes a threat, determines the appropriate response, and then sends that response down the line to the FOTD for transmission. The alternative back-up mode is an independent repeater. In this mode, the threat signal is detected, modulated, and then sent down the line to the FOTD. The system can interface with any on-board techniques generator, and can convert any technique. This broad capability enables the system to be installed on a variety of aircraft and to handle both today’s range of techniques and any developed to defeat future threats.

The AN/ALE-55 has been extensively flight-tested on a variety of aircraft, demonstrating robust aerodynamic performance and its ability to jam threats. The AN/ALE-55 is currently in full rate production with over 3,000 FOTDs delivered for U.S. and FMS customers.

Two more Poseidon

Air Force’s maritime patrol capability will be boosted with Australia set to acquire two more P-8A Poseidon surveillance and response aircraft, bringing the total fleet size to 14.

P-8A Poseidon
Two more P-8A Poseidon aircraft boosts maritime patrol capability

The Government has also approved sustainment funding for the current approved fleet of three MQ-4C Triton aircraft.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Honorable Linda Reynolds Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) said the announcement is part of the Morrison Government’s unprecedented $270 billion investment in defence capability over the next decade.

«Together, the P-8A Poseidon and the MQ-4C Triton will provide Australia with one of the most advanced maritime patrol and response capabilities in the world», Minister Reynolds said. «The P-8A Poseidon is a proven capability that will conduct tasks including anti-submarine warfare, maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and support to search and rescue missions. These additional aircraft will enhance Air Force’s flexibility to support multiple operations and will play an important role in ensuring Australia’s maritime region is secure for generations to come. The Morrison Government’s continued investment in the P-8A Poseidon program is also creating more Australian jobs and opportunities for Australian small businesses. Several Australian companies are already completing work for Boeing Defence Australia, and industry investment including facilities works is over $1 billion».

The additional P-8A Poseidon aircraft are to be purchased through our existing Cooperative Program with the United States Navy.

Minister Reynolds said being part of the Cooperative Program with the United States Navy allows Australia to share in the benefits of their technical expertise and divide project costs.

«Defence is committed to this cooperative approach; together we are striving to develop this military technology to the highest standards», Minister Reynolds said.

The P-8A Poseidon is a highly versatile, long endurance platform capable of a range of mission types including Maritime Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance and striking targets above and below the ocean’s surface.

The planned integration of the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) into Air Force capability will also allow it to strike adversary surface vessels at significantly increased ranges.

P-8A
Based at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Edinburgh, the P-8A Poseidon is an important part of Australia’s future maritime patrol and response strategy

 

P-8A Poseidon

The P-8A Poseidon has advanced sensors and mission systems, including a state-of-the-art multi-role radar, high-definition cameras, and an acoustic system with four times the processing capacity of the AP-3C Orions.

The P-8A Poseidon is built specifically as a military aircraft. It is based on the proven commercial designs of Boeing’s 737-800 fuselage, but has been substantially modified to include:

  • a weapons bay;
  • under wing and under fuselage hard points for weapons;
  • increased strengthening for low level (down to 200 feet/61 m) operations and high angle turns.

The P-8A Poseidon aircraft has an extensive communications system including radios and data links across Very High Frequency (VHF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF), High Frequency (HF) and SATellite COMmunications (SATCOM).

An internal fuel capacity of almost 34 tonnes/74,957 lbs. allows the P-8A Poseidon to conduct low level anti-submarine warfare missions at a distance of greater than 2,000 kilometres/1,243 miles/1,080 NM from base. The P-8A Poseidon will be compatible for air-to-air refueling with the Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).

Poseidon
A RAAF P-8A Poseidon supports sea trials for the HMAS Hobart (DDG-39) in the Gulf St Vincent off the coast of Adelaide

 

Specifications

Manufacturer Boeing
Role Maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and response
Crew Pilot, co-pilot, mission specialists
Engine Two CFM56-7 BE (27) engines each with 27,000 lbs./12,247 kg thrust
Length 129.6 feet/39.5 m
Height 42 feet/12.8 m
Wingspan 123.4 feet/37.6 m
Weight (maximum) 189,201 lbs./85,820 kg
Maximum Speed 490 knots/564 mph/907 km/h
Range 4,050 NM/4,660 miles/7,500 km
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,497 m
Capacity Sonobuoys, 11 weapons stations
Weapons Self-Protection Measures, Lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedo, AGM-84 Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles
Learmonth
The spectacular Milky Way dominates the night sky as a No. 11 Squadron P-8A Poseidon sits on the hardstand at RAAF Base Learmonth

100th Poseidon

The U.S. Navy received its 100th P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Boeing on May 14, 2020 as the global fleet, which also includes the Indian navy and the Australian and U.K. air forces, approaches 300,000 flight hours of hunting submarines and providing aerial reconnaissance capabilities around the world.

The 100th P-8A Poseidon built for the U.S. Navy departs Boeing Field (Boeing photo)

«We’re honored by the Navy’s faith and confidence in our employees and the P-8 Poseidon system», said Stu Voboril, vice president and program manager. «Our focus has been, and will be, on delivering the world’s best maritime patrol aircraft, bar none».

The P-8 Poseidon is a proven long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and coastal operations. A military derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation airplane, the P-8 Poseidon combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space.

This is the 94th mission-capable airplane to enter the U.S. Navy fleet, with six additional jets used as Engineering Manufacturing Development test aircraft. The 100th fully-operational delivery is scheduled for later this year. Boeing has also delivered 12 jets to the Royal Australian Air Force, two to the U.K.’s Royal Air Force and eight P-8Is Poseidon to the Indian Navy. Multiple U.S. Navy squadrons have deployed with the P-8A Poseidon, and the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force are conducting missions with the P-8 Poseidon as well.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs/12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs/85,820 kg

 

Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The RAF’s (Royal Air Force) new submarine-hunting Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) has touched down for the first time in the UK.

The first Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft has arrived in the UK

The aircraft is the first of a new £3 billion programme, including the purchase of nine state-of-the-art P-8A Poseidon jets, which will improve the UK’s ability to track hostile targets below and above the waves.

P-8A Poseidon aircraft will protect the UK’s continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent and be central to NATO missions across the North Atlantic, co-operating closely with the US and Norwegian Poseidon fleets.

The UK’s purchase of the P-8A Poseidon is in response to increased threats such as Russian submarine activity in the Atlantic returning to Cold War levels, while China is also investing heavily in new Arctic facilities, infrastructure and ice-capable ships.

Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said: «Our Poseidon fleet will soon join an integrated UK force of fighter jets, ships, submarines, helicopters and highly-trained Royal Marines, ready to operate in Arctic conditions. The UK will not stand by if peace in the Arctic region is threatened. RAF Lossiemouth’s strategic northerly location makes it one of the most important air stations in the UK: already home to half of the UK’s Typhoon Force, and now sitting at the heart of our anti-submarine operations».

The P-8A Poseidon is designed to carry out extended surveillance missions at high and low altitudes. The aircraft is equipped with cutting-edge sensors which use high-resolution area mapping to find both submarines and surface vessels.

Each aircraft carries sonobuoys which are dropped from the aircraft into the sea to search for enemy submarines, surveying the battlespace under the sea and relaying data back to the aircraft.

Poseidon will also be armed with Harpoon anti-surface ship missiles and Mk-54 torpedoes capable of attacking both surface and sub-surface targets.

Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, said: «The Poseidon MRA1 is a game-changing Maritime Patrol Aircraft. I am delighted and proud to see the ‘Pride of Moray’ and her crews returning to maritime patrol flying from Scotland, working alongside the Royal Navy to secure our seas and protect our nation».

First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin, said: «The arrival of the first Poseidon marks a significant upgrade in the UK’s ability to conduct anti-submarine operations. This will give the UK the ability to conduct long range patrols and integrate seamlessly with our NATO allies to provide a world-leading capability. This will maintain operational freedom for our own submarines and apply pressure to those of our potential foes. I look forward to working with the RAF and our international partners on this superb aircraft».

All nine UK Poseidons will be delivered to the RAF by the end of 2021 and achieve full operational capability from RAF Lossiemouth in 2024. The aircraft will be flown initially by 120 Squadron, the leading anti-submarine warfare squadron in World War 2, with 201 Squadron joining the programme in due course.

Named the ‘Pride of Moray’, the first UK Poseidon arrived at Kinloss Barracks, used previously by the RAF Nimrod MPA fleet, and now home to the Army’s specialist air support engineers, 39 Engineer Regiment.

P-8A Poseidon will temporarily operate from Kinloss until October 2020 while £75 million of planned runway and taxiway resurfacing works is completed at Lossiemouth by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. Routine Typhoon training will also temporarily relocate from Lossiemouth to Kinloss in June and July while the intersection of the runways there is resurfaced.

Michelle Sanders, DE&S P-8A Poseidon Delivery Team Leader, said: «Seeing the first RAF Poseidon MRA Mk1 landing in the UK is an incredibly proud moment for all of the team at DE&S. Close, collaborative working with colleagues in Air Capability, the US Navy and industry has helped us deliver this very capable aircraft. Moray’s RAF Lossiemouth is one of the most important air stations in the UK: it is already home to four RAF Typhoon squadrons – half of the RAF Typhoon Force – and will become the centre of operations for the UK Poseidon fleet».

UK defence is investing £470 million in upgrading RAF Lossiemouth’s infrastructure, including a new £132 million strategic facility for the P-8A Poseidon fleet, upgraded runways and operating surfaces, a new Air Traffic Control Tower, upgraded facilities for IX (Bomber) Squadron which moved to Scotland in 2019, new personnel accommodation, upgraded drainage and electrical supplies.

When these developments are complete there will be 550 additional military personnel based at RAF Lossiemouth, taking the total number of military personnel employed there to 2,532.

Next group of P-8A

The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing a $2.4 billion production contract for the next 19 P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The contract includes 10 aircraft to add to the current inventory of P-8As in the U.S. Navy fleet, all five jets currently under contract for Norway and the four aircraft remaining for the existing United Kingdom contract, bringing the total United Kingdom acquisition to nine aircraft.

The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing a $2.4 billion production contract for the next 19 P-8A Poseidon aircraft (Boeing photo)
The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing a $2.4 billion production contract for the next 19 P-8A Poseidon aircraft (Boeing photo)

The United Kingdom and Norway are acquiring the Boeing aircraft through the Foreign Military Sales process and will receive a variant designed and produced for the U.S. Navy called the P-8A Poseidon. The United Kingdom will receive their first aircraft in 2019 and Norway will begin receiving aircraft in 2021.

The P-8 is a long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. A military derivative of the Boeing Commercial Next-Generation 737 airplane, the P-8 combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space.

The P-8 is militarized with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture, and commercial-like support for affordability. The aircraft has been modified to include a bomb bay and pylons for weapons – two weapons stations on each wing – and can carry 129 sonobuoys. The aircraft is also fitted with an in-flight refueling system. With more than 180,000 flight hours to date, P-8 variants, the P-8A Poseidon and the P-8I, patrol the globe performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; humanitarian; and search and rescue missions.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs./12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs./85,820 kg

 

Korean Poseidon

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea (ROK) of six (6) P-8A Patrol Aircraft for an estimated cost of $2.10 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on September 13, 2018.

State Department Notifies Congress of Potential $2.1B P-8A Sale to South Korea
State Department Notifies Congress of Potential $2.1B P-8A Sale to South Korea

The Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested to buy six (6) P-8A Patrol Aircraft, which includes:

  • nine (9) Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems 5 (MIDS JTRS 5) (one (1) for each aircraft, one (1) for the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and two (2) as spares);
  • fourteen (14) LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs) (two (2) for each aircraft and two (2) as spares);
  • forty-two (42) AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors (six (6) for each aircraft and six (6) as spares).

Also included are:

  • commercial engines;
  • Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS);
  • Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IO) MX-20HD;
  • AN/AAQ-2(V)1 Acoustic System;
  • AN/APY-10 Radar;
  • ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures;
  • AN/ALE-47 Counter Measures Dispensing System;
  • support equipment;
  • operation support systems;
  • maintenance trainer/classrooms;
  • publications;
  • software, engineering, and logistics technical assistance;
  • foreign liaison officer support;
  • contractor engineering technical services;
  • repair and return;
  • transportation;
  • aircraft ferry;
  • other associated training, logistics, support equipment and services.

The total estimated program cost is $2.1 billion.

The ROK is one of the closest allies in the INDOPACOM Theater. The proposed sale will support U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by enhancing Korea’s naval capabilities to provide national defense and significantly contribute to coalition operations.

The ROK procured and has operated U.S.-produced P-3 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) for over 25 years, providing interoperability and critical capabilities to coalition maritime operations. The ROK has maintained a close MSA acquisition and sustainment relationship with the U.S. Navy over that period. The proposed sale will allow the ROK to modernize and sustain its MSA capability for the next 30 years. As a long-time P-3 operator, the ROK will have no difficulty transitioning its MSA force to P-8A.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support does not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractor will be The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA. Additional contractors include:

  • ASEC;
  • Air Cruisers Co LLC;
  • Arnprior Aerospace, Canada;
  • AVOX Zodiac Aerospace;
  • BAE;
  • Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC)/EMS;
  • Compass;
  • David Clark;
  • DLS or ViaSat, Carlsbad, California;
  • DRS;
  • Exelis, McLean, Virginia;
  • GC Micro, Petaluma, California;
  • General Dynamics;
  • General Electric, UK;
  • Harris;
  • Joint Electronics;
  • Lockheed Martin;
  • Martin Baker;
  • Northrop Grumman Corp, Falls Church, Virginia;
  • Pole Zero, Cincinnati, Ohio;
  • Raytheon, Waltham, Massachusetts;
  • Raytheon, UK;
  • Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
  • Spirit Aero, Wichita, Kansas;
  • Symmetries Telephonics, Farmingdale, New York;
  • Terma, Arlington, Virginia;
  • Viking;

The purchaser typically requests offsets. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the Purchaser and the prime contractor.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require approximately three (3) U.S. government personnel and ten (10) contractor personnel to support the program in country.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs./12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs./85,820 kg

 

Chamber tests

Officials at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station (PAX) say its Anechoic Chamber is a viable option for rapid testing and mission readiness… «it’s a win-win. It’s about speed to the fleet, safety, efficiency and cost savings».

The P-8A Poseidon, the U.S. Navy's latest aircraft for maritime patrol and reconnaissance has consistently deployed since 2013
The P-8A Poseidon, the U.S. Navy’s latest aircraft for maritime patrol and reconnaissance has consistently deployed since 2013

Recent live, virtual, and constructive infrastructure development of the AN/UPX-43 IFF Interrogator AIMS Certification test process, which is just one of the projects executed at PAX’s Anechoic Chamber, this fall resulted in reduced scheduling and costs for future certification testing. By conducting the AIMS certification in the chamber, versus inflight, the savings were achieved from 12 weeks at $5.31 million, producing 3.6 hours of data to approximately, 3.5 weeks of testing at about $800 thousand, yielding about 15 hours of data.

«Right now, one of the most important things we do for the warfighter is to get them the technology they need to complete their mission», said Lieutenant Denver White, aircraft P-8A project officer. «With the Anechoic Chamber, we are not susceptible to weather or other flight test issues that might cause test delays».

The P-8A’s Interrogator IFF-I infrastructure development results using the Multi-Jammer Characterization Wall is compared using previous flight test results at the AIMS Program Office to prove the capability for future P-8A AIMS certifications.

«It is historic and important; the P-8A had not been in the chamber for several years, and when it was in the chamber, these specific systems were not tested nor was infrastructure developed for them», said White. «Since we are not in the air, and we have a lot more instrumentation on the ground we can slow down, look into a deficiency more to isolate it».

About 75 percent of the required tests were conducted from inside the chamber. Once inside, UPX-43 Identification Friend or Foe; Interrogator, ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures system; APY-10 Radar; GPS and cyber security of communications and navigation systems testing were all conducted; Saving time, money and wear-and-tear on the aircraft and parts. The aircraft was stressed during real-world flight test scenarios, using the navigation simulation equipment.

There was simulated motion, position and altitude, which allowed the P-8A mission systems to experience airborne environments and engage with other systems and platforms.

In the controlled environment, testers may try a lot of methods that aren’t options when airborne, he said. The testing gets to the root cause, which ultimately allows the deficiency to be evaluated, repaired and gets the aircraft back to the fleet mission ready.

If the test methods are approved and deemed successful, these methods may be used for other Navy aircraft, such as, the MQ-25 Stingray, F-18 Super Hornet, MH-60R Seahawk and F-35 Lightning II. The initial testing using this method was used on the P-8A Poseidon and its mission systems.

Sea Breeze 2017

The Turkish Ay-class submarine TCG Batiray (S-349) and a U.S. P-8A Poseidon from Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, took anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training to an advanced level during exercise Sea Breeze 2017.

The Turkish Navy submarine TCG Batiray (S-349)
The Turkish Navy submarine TCG Batiray (S-349)

Sea Breeze 2017, a U.S. and Ukraine co-hosted multinational maritime exercise held in the Black Sea, is designed to enhance the interoperability of participating nations and strengthen maritime security in the region.

Since submarines of Black Sea nations regularly operate in the region, knowing how to find and track them is of great interest to navies operating there.

Having a NATO ally in the form of Turkey at this year’s exercise helped to train the Ukrainian military in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) techniques that they’ve not practiced before, said Lieutenant (junior grade) Onur Kiroğlu, a Turkish navy communications officer who served as a battle watch officer in the Sea Breeze maritime operations center.

«It’s very important for them to see what a sub can do in an exercise», he said.

Another key role the Turkish submarine played was in helping ships learn to operate effectively in an ASW task group, said Lieutenant Jonathan Wheeler, a U.S. Navy submariner and a Sea Breeze exercise officer.

«Finding and keeping contact with a submarine is a complex process that involves effective engagement among ships’ crews», he said. «It was a good opportunity to practice ASW in the Black Sea against a friendly asset».

The P-8A Poseidon adds a critical air element to the ASW training, said Lieutenant Justin Branch, a U.S. Navy aviation/operations limited duty officer and a Sea Breeze liaison officer for the aircraft.

«It’s the Navy’s newest long-range ASW aircraft, capable of precision active-and-passive tracking, multi-sensor correlation and long flight endurance», Branch said.

Sea Breeze 2017 Takes Anti-Submarine Warfare Training to Advanced Level
Sea Breeze 2017 Takes Anti-Submarine Warfare Training to Advanced Level

 

Decades of experience

Turkey is the only NATO country in the Black Sea that operates submarines. Its military has been involved in the exercise since the 1990s, bringing decades of submarine and ASW experience.

«This year, the Ukrainians and other exercise navy participants saw the real capacity of a submarine as part of an opposing force», Kiroğlu said.

A diesel submarine, such as the Ay-class involved in the exercise, can become almost as quiet as the surrounding ocean. It can rest on the seafloor and blend in with surrounding underwater formations.

«Learning to recognize the subtle acoustic sounds of a diesel submarine operating near a task force is helpful because most countries that have submarines tend to use diesels», Kiroğlu said. «Nuclear-powered submarines are used by only a handful of countries. After the submarine departed Odessa, Ukraine, with the other exercise vessels participating in the free-play portion of Sea Breeze, its unpredictability became an especially important element of the exercise», he said.

The Turkish submarine helped Ukrainian and other exercise participants learn to methodically search the sea.

In addition to ASW training, there was another benefit to the Turkish submarine’s participation.

Turkey’s submarine command is run in accordance with NATO standards, contributing to the interoperability of the Sea Breeze navies, helping them to work as a team.

Managing a submarine force is more than just attaching an underwater vessel to surface combatants, Kiroğlu said. It involves effective thinking of the underwater dimension, and learning to not just simply respond to the presence of adversary submarines, but proactively engaging with them to protect ships and personnel.

Where hunting submarines in the battle space is concerned, «communication is everything», he said.

VX-1 Pioneers

The Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 Pioneers recently returned from a detachment at Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu, California, where they successfully conducted two ATM-84 Harpoon live fire missile events in the P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

Sailors from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 at NAS Patuxent River prepare to conduct an ATM-84 Harpoon live fire missile event in a P-8A Poseidon aircraft at Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu, California
Sailors from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 at NAS Patuxent River prepare to conduct an ATM-84 Harpoon live fire missile event in a P-8A Poseidon aircraft at Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu, California

The detachment was the culmination of testing, training, and data collection for the P-8A Operational Test Team performing follow-on operational test and evaluation. The successful events were a direct result of the hard work of the VX-1 aircrew, maintenance and ordnance team.

«The whole process from the simulator and captive carry events in Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, to ferrying the aircraft across the country with ATM-84s and completing the shots on the Sea Range, was an incredible combined effort from maintenance, the aircrew and the U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Range Support team», said Lieutenant Michael Reynders, VX-1 project officer.

Prior to the live fire events, multiple captive carry events were flown out of Pax River, resulting in 26 missile uploads and downloads to the aircraft. The dry run events provided a way to ensure ordnance hardware and aircraft software were synchronized.

Despite complications from critical ground support equipment and the missiles themselves, the ordinance team skillfully overcame obstacles presented to them and quickly adapted.

«The Aviation Ordnanceman (AO) detachment worked together and overcame these obstacles and executed our mission flawlessly», said AO3 Cornelius Knox, from Thousand Oaks, California. The exceptional work conducted by the ordnance team supported smooth execution of all flight events.

The successful test provides new capabilities for the fleet to employ Harpoon from the P-8A Poseidon.

50th P-8A Poseidon

The U.S. Navy accepted its 50th P-8A Poseidon (P-8A) aircraft at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida on January 5, 2017. The Navy’s Poseidon is replacing the legacy P-3 Orion and will improve an operator’s ability to efficiently conduct anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. The P-8A program of record calls for a total requirement for 117 of the 737-based anti-submarine warfare jets.

Navy partnership hits milestone, 50th P-8A delivered
Navy partnership hits milestone, 50th P-8A delivered

«I’d like to formally thank the team, including PMA-290, Boeing and our entire P-8A industry team, as we deliver the 50th P-8A Poseidon early and under budget», said Captain Tony Rossi, the Navy’s program manager for Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft. «This milestone demonstrates outstanding work ethic, professionalism and dedication to the fleet».

«The P-8A is special», added Rossi. «This is the first time a Navy combat aircraft was built from the ground up on a commercial production line. We’ve leveraged commercial expertise and experience, and a highly reliable airframe, the 737, which has reduced production time and overall production costs». Since the initial contract award, the program has reduced P-8 costs by more than 30 percent and has saved the U.S. Navy more than $2.1 Billion.

«Together, we and our industry partners are transforming today’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance force for the evolving threats and diverse mission requirements», he said. «This replacement for the P-3C builds on lessons-learned, while enhancing those capabilities with unique features, such as an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret and increased acoustic processing capability with 64 passive sonobuoys, 32 multistatic sonobuoys and concurrent passive and active processing».

The fleet’s transformation from the legacy P-3C to the P-8A is expected to be completed by Fiscal Year 2019.

As of April 2016, all six active and one fleet replacement squadron at NAS Jacksonville have completed their fleet transition training from the P-3C to the P-8A and the first west coast P-8A squadron, VP-4, has relocated its home port from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. All squadrons will complete transition training by Fiscal Year 2019.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs/12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs/85,820 kg