Today we present to our readers an aircraft known by its current name the Boeing P-8 Poseidon or previously known as MMA (Multimission Maritime Aircraft). This is an aircraft that was developed by the US Navy as a military aircraft to serve for following missions.
- Anti Submarine Warfare
- Nit surface warfare
- Shipping interdiction
- EWSP (Early Warning Self-Protection)
The aircraft was developed by the famed aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s division named Boeing Defense, Space, and Security as a modified version of the former 737-800ERX. With this modification, the Boeing P-8 Poseidon is now able to carry weapons such as the torpedoes and Harpoon anti-ship missiles and is also able to drop as well as monitor the sonobuoys.
The aircraft normally operates in its conjunction with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton for BAMS (Board Area Maritime Surveillance), which is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
As of 2019, the Boeing P-8 Poseidon is currently being operated by not only the US Navy but also the Indian Navy and the Royal Austrian Air Force. Recently it has also been ordered by the following world air forces and navies.
- Royal Air Force
- Royal Norwegian Air Force
- Royal New Zealand Air Force
- Republic of Korea Navy
For our readers, we have gathered a bunch of interesting facts about the Boeing P-8 Poseidon which are as follows.
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is an incredibly versatile aircraft that is able to combine its range of 1200 nautical miles with its firepower that is not least comparable to the firepower of the F/A-18; a fighter/bomber.
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon has been fitted with HAAWC (High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability) that allows the aircraft to fire a Mark 54 torpedo from a height of nearly 3000 feet. This deadly torpedo is the first and last warning for its target until the water splashes from its impact.
The p-8 also has 11 different yet large internal and external weapons bay that can easily fit inside any kind of bomb, missile, depth charge or a torpedo that is currently in possession of Navy. In addition to this, P-8 is also capable of accommodating several other following special mission cargos.
- Sonar buoys
- Survival Gear
The P-8 entered the active duty of US Navy service back in 2013 but since then due to its cost-effectiveness, it has become the favorite for the US Navy as their favorite weapon in combating maritime piracy. The thing that makes the P-8 a favorite asset for the navy is its ability to operate at full capacity in the crowded shallow waters.
However, the thing that really makes the P-8 an interesting navy asset is its intelligence gathering capabilities. The P-8 has the ability to gather ELINT (electronic signals intelligence) of other foreign nations with the help of its state of the art sensors. The P-8 happens to be a spy aircraft that can fly over the coast of foreign nations like China and North Korea and other such international waters to monitor in the military frequencies that are spread across thousands of miles into the mainland.
The P-8 Poseidon is powered by 2 of the CFM56-7B turbofan engines each of which provides it with a thrust of 27000 lb/f. these powerplants allow the aircraft to fly with a maximum speed of early 815 mph for a range that is over 8300 kilometers at an altitude of 41000 feet.
The thing that actually makes the P-8 the backbone of the Navy is it’s BAMS (Broad Area Maritime Surveillance) program and the fact that P-98 carries it out. For this mission, P-8 Poseidon actually serves as the Command & Control node for quick reaction by the forces which includes a large network of the MQ-4C Triton UAVs.
When the program is initiated, it gives the command center with real-time intelligence information along with surveillance and reconnaissance as it covers the widespread oceanic and coastal areas without ever a need to deploy a shipping vessel.
A versatile Aircraft
While P-8 is a valuable asset when it comes to wartime and its intelligence gathering capabilities; they are still an invaluable asset when it comes to the peacetime mission of search and rescue. While the P-8 is unable to pick up any survivors like rescue helicopters, P-8 can still fly over the vast ocean region to search and identify rescuing targets which can appear as small as a life ring. After identifying the targets, P-8 can deploy the life rafts along with other survival cargo with near pinpoint accuracy to increase the survival of a target.
In addition to that, P-8 also sees to be crucial when it comes to close-in security detail especially for high-value assets like the carriers and transporters when they have to traverse through either high traffic or highly threatening areas. During its security role, P-8 is equipped with Laser-guided Maverick missiles.
For such missions, P-8s are regularly deployed mainly over the Gulf of Aden and the entire Persian Gulf. P-8 in its mission role can easily detect the deviation of even a small shipping vessel if it deviates from its routine traffic schedule and assess it as a threat and then engage against it with accuracy and surgical force.
All of these featured and mission roles certainly clear up the obsession of the US Navy as well as the other world navies and air forces when it comes to being P-8 Poseidon. The aircraft is clearly an invaluable asset for both peacetime and wartime with its highly advanced sensors for search and rescue and intelligence gathering as well as for tracking threats. Being outfitted with a wide array of weapons is just putting an icing on the cake for this aircraft.