First P-8a Poseidon Arrives At Pax River

The first P-8a Poseidon arrived at NAS Patuxent River, and so begins, hopefully, the replacement of the P-3 Orion as the premier Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the US Navy.

From Navy Times:

By Andrew Tilghman – Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Apr 13, 2010 9:09:42 EDT

The first P-8A Poseidon aircraft landed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., on Monday, the latest milestone for the aircraft that will replace the P-3 Orion as the fleet’s primary patrol and reconnaissance plane.

The Poseidon came from the Boeing’s Seattle-area facilities, where it began flight testing about six months ago.

The Navy’s first P-8A squadron is scheduled to be operational by 2013.

The P-8, a militarized version of the Boeing 737, is primarily designed for hunting submarines, but it will also have extensive intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The P-3s it will replace are spending a majority of their deployed missions doing ISR over Iraq and Afghanistan, Navy officials said.

The Navy plans to buy 117 P-8As and hopes to have a fleet replacement squadron up and running in 2012, Navy officials said.

“It was an exciting moment to watch the first P-8A Poseidon touch down at Pax River today,” said Capt. Mike Moran, Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft program manager (PMA-290). “The maritime patrol and reconnaissance platform is in great demand throughout the world and this flight put us one step closer to delivering Poseidon to the Fleet. I cannot be more proud of our team as they work to ensure this aircraft will meet our warfighters’ requirements.”

AW1 Tim has opposed this platform since it’s inception. It has been my point of contention that the better choice would have been to reopen the P-3 Orion production lines, which, at that time, were still available. The P-8 has suffered numerous delays, design changes, and is still unable to do some things the P-3 can, and cannot operate as low or as flexibly as the Orion.  I simply do not believe that th P-8 is a viable replacement, but it’s not my decision to make.

That being said, at least it’s SOMETHING. The way the US Navy, and the VP-Mafia has abused it’s assets is unforgivable. We are over-working the remaining P-3 airframes we have, we have reorganized the squadrons practically out of existence as such, and it’s debatable if war came whether we could swiftly deploy the MPA & ASW assests (and even CONDUCT ASW missions effectively) with the organization as it stands.

More on the P-8 here here & here


4 Responses to “First P-8a Poseidon Arrives At Pax River”

  1. 1 Flugelman
    April 14, 2010 at 19:49

    I agree that the P-8 will be woefully inadequate when it comes down to the localizing and prosecution of a subsurface target. Just as the E-6B is/was an inadequate platform for the VLF mission in TACAMO. Sometimes slower is better. Doesn’t do any good to get to the scene in a hurry if you fail to nail the bad guy once you get there.

  2. 2 SCOTT the BADGER
    April 14, 2010 at 21:49

    I concour with you two gentlemen. Reopening the P-3 line would have made much more sense. It would have given us proven aircraft, with known maitenance requirements, and aircrews and ground crews very familiar with their mounts. The P-8 doesn’t even have the ability to nail down t6he target with MAD without the use of a drone to carry the MAD gear.

    Compared to it’s prey, the ORION is still very fast, indeed. The P-3 itself is just an airborne truck, to haul the gear and ordinance to track and destry the subs. Other than it isn’t a pure jet, and therefore isn’t quite as cool, I see no reason why P-3s should not be our ASW plane for the foreseeable future..

    The P-8 is a retrograde step in non ASW missions that the P-3 carries out. You cannot do an effective search for survivors of a sunken ship or fishing boat from 20,000 feet, which is where I am told the P-8 will do it’s thing. But a P-8 can’t get down low and still maintain a decent range. I am not sure just how much of this program was actually thaough out all the way.

  3. 3 SCOTT the BADGER
    April 14, 2010 at 21:56

    Looking at the two planes flying alongside each other, I am further disquieted by the P-8/ When you look at the P-3, you see a plane with turboprops, so it will get good milage out of it’s fuel, and a great big MAD boom hanging out of it’s rear end. It has straight wings, so it can go low and slow. While the P-8 has swept, fast mover wings, and jet engines, and no boom. The P-3 looks like an ASW plane, a preadator of the air, while the P-8 looks like a commercial cargo plane painted light gray. Quite often, if it doesn’t look right, it isn’t right.

  4. 4 steve osc ret
    April 15, 2010 at 00:36

    So much for mad runs huh?

    steve osc ret

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