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NAVAIR: P-8A Poseidon Ready for Deployment

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P-8A Poseidon, operated by Patrol Squadron (VP-16) in February, 2013. US Navy Photo

P-8A Poseidon, operated by Patrol Squadron (VP-16) in February, 2013. US Navy Photo

The Navy’s next-generation manned maritime information, surveillance and reconnaissance has been certified to enter regular service, according to a Naval Air Systems Command statement issued late Monday.

The P-8A Poseidon passed an Initial Operational Test and Evaluation that found the aircraft, “operationally effective, operationally suitable and ready for fleet introduction.”

“We are proud to add the P-8 to the Navy’s weapons inventory and the deployment cycle later this year,” said Capt. Scott Dillon, Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office (PMA-290) program manager in a NAVAIR statement.

Six Poseidons assigned to Patrol Squadron Sixteen (VP-16) “War Eagles” are planned to deploy to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan in December.

Based on the Boeing 737 airframe, the P-8 is slated to replace the P-3 Orions the navy currently uses for the ISR role. The Navy plans to buy 117 of the aircraft.

In addition to the surveillance role, the P-8 is an armed platform capable of firing missiles and deploying torpedoes.

On June 24, a P-8 successfully fired a Harpoon AGM-84D Block IC anti-ship missile in a test, according to NAVAIR.

A Harpoon AGM-84D Block IC missile, which was released from a P-8A Poseidon (not visible), directly hits a Low Cost Modular Target (LCMT)at the Point Mugu Sea Test Range in California June 24. Bottom photo: A LCMT at the Point Mugu Sea Test Range is shown after the Harpoon successfully strikes it. US Navy Photo

A Harpoon AGM-84D Block IC missile, which was released from a P-8A Poseidon (not visible), directly hits a Low Cost Modular Target (LCMT)at the Point Mugu Sea Test Range in California June 24. Bottom photo: A LCMT at the Point Mugu Sea Test Range is shown after the Harpoon successfully strikes it. US Navy Photo

Categories: Aviation, Budget Industry, News & Analysis, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.

  • bkhuna

    The P-8 looks like a great platform as a FLATUS short to intermediate range ski-slop and fundraising delivery craft.

  • vincedc

    Nothing like replacing a 60 year old airframe design with a 40 year old airframe design

    • des111168

      Good joke (honestly, I LOL’d), but look at the competing designs during the original P-7 competition. They were ALL airframes that would be considered “old” by now. Lockheed had an updated Orion design, McDonnell-Douglas had an MD-80 airframe with propfans, and Boeing proposed a 757 variant. The 737 design has stretched and evolved enough to make the 757 option obsolete. No one was ever considering a brand new airframe design. Whatever was picked was going to be an off-the-shelf airframe. Even Lockheed, when they were looking at flying boat alternatives again, used the C-130 as the design base.

    • bigcreek2

      Lockheed did not show up to sell a MMA plane, Boeing greased enough palms to convince the Navy this was the way to go, now after the Royal AirForce has rid themselves of the Nimrod, what does Lockeed propose? Sell the SeaHurc C130 to the Brits. It will be interesting to see how the P8 performs long term,,,