The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly the Multimission Maritime Aircraft or MMA) is a military aircraft developed for the United States Navy (USN). The aircraft has been developed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX.
The P-8 conducts anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction, along with an electronic signals intelligence (ELINT) role. This involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, SLAM-ER missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. It is designed to operate in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle. The aircraft has been ordered by the Indian Naval Air Arm as the P-8I Neptune.
India : The Indian Navy has eight P-8I aircraft on order; deliveries began in December 2012, with six delivered by November 2014.
United States : The United States Navy plans to acquire 122 aircraft. The 18th P-8 was delivered on October 14, 2014.
In January 2008, Boeing proposed the P-8I, a customized export variant of the P-8A, for the Indian Navy. It features two major components not fitted on the P-8A, a Telephonics APS-143 OceanEye aft radar and a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD). On 4 January 2009, India’s Ministry of Defence signed a US$2.1 billion agreement with Boeing for the supply of eight P-8Is to replace the Indian Navy’s aging Tupolev Tu-142M maritime surveillance turboprops. Each aircraft has an average cost of about US$220 million. India was the P-8’s first international customer, and was also Boeing’s first military sale to India. In October 2010, India’s Defence Acquisition Council approved the purchase of four additional P-8Is; this purchase is reportedly under consideration as of 2014. In 2011, India planned to order 12 more P-8Is at a later date.
The Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) Data Link II communications allows the P-8I to exchange tactical data between Indian Navy aircraft, ships and shore establishments. The P-8I features an integrated BEL-developed IFF system. India has purchased AGM-84L Harpoon Block II Missiles and Mk 54 All-Up-Round Lightweight Torpedoes for the P-8I. In July 2012, Boeing began flight testing of the P-8I. On 19 December 2012, the first P-8I was handed over to an Indian naval team at Boeing’s Seattle facility. The Indian Navy inducted its first P-8I on 15 May 2013. The second and third P-8Is were received on 16 and 22 November 2013 respectively. The aircraft are based at INS Rajali, in Tamil Nadu. In 2014, several Indian Navy P-8Is conducted search operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The fourth, fifth and sixth aircraft was delivered in May, September and November 2014 respectively. The program is on schedule to deliver two more aircraft in 2015, for a total of 8 P-8Is.
The P-8 is a militarized version of the Boeing 737-800 with 737-900-based wings. The fuselage is similar, but longer, than the 737-700-based C-40 Clipper transport aircraft in service with the U.S. Navy. The P-8 has a strengthened fuselage and Boeing 767-400ER-style raked wingtips, instead of the blended winglets available on 737NG variants. In order to power additional onboard electronics, the P-8 has a 180kVA electric generator on each engine, replacing the 90kVA generator of civilian 737s; this required the redesigning of the nacelles and their wing mountings.
The five operator stations (two naval flight officers plus three enlisted Aviation Warfare Operators/naval aircrewman) are mounted in a sideways row, along the port side of the cabin. None of the crew stations have windows; a single observer window is located on each side of the forward cabin. A short bomb bay for torpedoes and other stores opens behind the wing. The P-8 is to be equipped with the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC) Air Launch Accessory (ALA), turning a Mark 54 torpedo into a glide bomb for deploying from up to 30,000 ft (9,100 m).
The P-8 features the Raytheon APY-10 multi-mission surface search radar; the P-8I features an international version of the APY-10. Unlike the preceding P-3, the P-8 lacks a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) due to its higher operational altitude. Various sensor data are combined via data fusion software to track targets. Following the cancellation of Lockheed Martin’s Aerial Common Sensor project, Boeing proposed a signals intelligence variant of the P-8 for the Navy’s requirement.
In U.S. service, the P-8 fleet will be complemented by around 40 Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance system to provide continuous surveillance. In January 2015, BAE Systems was awarded a contract for the Navy’s High Altitude ASW (HAASW) Unmanned Targeting Air System (UTAS) program to develop a sub-hunting UAV equipped with a MAD for launching from the P-8. The P-8 cannot use the Navy’s typical hose-and-drogue in-flight refueling method, instead featuring a flying boom receptacle on the upper-forward fuselage. For extended endurance, six additional fuel tanks from Marshall Aerospace are housed in the forward and rear cargo compartments.
General characteristics :
Crew: Flight: two; Mission: seven
Length: 129 ft 5 in (39.47 m)
Wingspan: 123 ft 6 in (37.64 m)
Height: 42 ft 1 in (12.83 m)
Empty weight: 138,300 lb (62,730 kg)
Useful load: 19,800+ lb (9,000+ kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 189,200 lb (85,820 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × CFM56-7B turbofan, 27,000 lbf (120 kN) each
Maximum speed: 490 knots (907 km/h, 564 mph)
Cruise speed: 440 kn (815 km/h, 509 mph)
Combat radius: 1,200 nmi (2,222 km) ; 4 hours on station (for anti-submarine warfare mission) Ferry range: over 4,000 nautical miles (7,500 km) ()
Service ceiling: 41,000 ft (12,496 m)
Armament : 5 internal and 6 external stations for AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER, AGM-84 Harpoon, Mark 54 torpedo, missiles, mines, torpedoes, bombs, and a High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon system.
Avionics : Raytheon APY-10 multi-mission surface search radar.(Advanced Airborne Sensor surface search radar and SIGINT package to be follow on system)