The 100th Boeing P-8 Poseidon is Delivered to the U.S. Navy

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The Boeing P-8A Poseidon can trace its heritage back to the commercial B-737-800.

The U.S Navy received their 100th Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft in May, 2020. Although six of these jets are not mission capable, the Navy’s numbers are still growing, after a new order for an additional eight aircraft for the Navy was confirmed earlier this spring. A Boeing press release noted that the 100th mission capable jet will be delivered this year. Somewhere close to 120 of the aircraft have been ordered for the U.S. Navy, against a stated need of 138 P-8As in total to allow for future tasking worldwide.

U.S. Navy P-8As are based at NAS Jacksonville, Florida and NAS Whidbey Island, Washington.

The Boeing P-8A is a derivative of the commercial B-737-800 passenger airliner. Equipped with anti-submarine and anti-surface ship sensors and weapons, the jet can launch torpedoes, bombs and standoff missiles from a fuselage weapons bay or from under wing hard points. Signals intelligence gathering and search and rescue missions are completed with the same or improved efficiency than the older P-3. Normal crew is around nine members, two less than the legacy P-3C, and the routine flight profile on an anti-submarine mission is around ten hours.

Six P-8A airframes were produced for testing and development purposes.

Military air arms that have ordered the P-8A Poseidon besides the U.S. Navy include the Royal Australia Air Force, Great Britain’s Royal Air Force, New Zealand, South Korea, and Norway. India operates the similar P-8I variant of the twin jet too.

U.S. Navy P-3C Orions have been retired from active duty squadrons.

The P-8A has replaced the U.S. Navy’s Lockheed P-3C Orion fleet from active duty earlier this year. There are still two Navy Reserve squadrons which fly the P-3C, plus a few test and evaluation airframes actively flying, mainly at NAS Patuxent River. The eleven EP-3E Aries II intelligence gathering aircraft will be in use for the foreseeable future too. However, for anti-submarine work, signals intelligence, and even for search and rescue purposes, the U.S Navy has a new mount… the Boeing P-8A Poseidon. 

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Ken Kula

Assignment and Content Editor, writer and photographer A New Englander all of my life, I've lived in New Hampshire since 1981. My passion for all things aviation began at a very early age, and I coupled this with my interest of photography during college in the late 1970s. I spent 32 years in the air traffic control industry, and concurrently, enjoyed my aviation photography and writing adventures, which continue today. I've been quite fortunate to have been mentored by some generous and gifted individuals. I enjoy contributing to this great site, and working with some very knowledgeable and equally passionate aviation followers.

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