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