The US Navy’s replacement for the P-3 Orion will be the P-8 Poseidon. The first test flight was in April of 2009, and the program is slated to begin deliveries to operational squadrons in 2013. However, the program is not without controversy. Technologies being planned for use onboard were slow in maturing, including a rotary sonobuoy launcher, advanced “Bellringer” acoustic sensors, ESM systems, etc. To add to program woes, a large chunk of the program’s budget was taken out to help speed up the DD-1000 program.
The P-8 will not have any MAD gear installed. It was expected to be lost, because there is no way this airframe operates at an altitude low enough for MAD to work. It also saves some 3500 pounds in weight. Interestingly, however, the Indian variant, the P-8i WILL have MAD installed. Go figure.
Excellent article here on the P-8 program to date.
Of note is that the P-8 is also designed to work in conjunction with the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance System (BAMS). This system is a UAV and the data it collects can be received by the Poseidon crew and acted upon, and it is assumed, the UAV directed to other areas by the P-8 if needs be. The UAV used will be a Maritime version of the RQ-4 Global Hawk produced by Northrop Grumman.