P-8 Poseidon MMA: Long-Range Maritime Patrol, and More
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Dec 13, 2012 16:00 EST
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Maritime surveillance and patrol is becoming more and more important, but the USA’s P-3 Orion turboprop fleet is falling apart. The P-7 Long Range Air ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) Capable Aircraft program to create an improved P-3 began in 1988, but cost overruns, slow progress, and interest in opening the competition to commercial designs led to the P-7’s cancellation for default in 1990. The successor MMA program was begun in March 2000, and Boeing beat Lockheed’s “Orion 21” with a P-8 design based on their ubiquitous 737 passenger jet. US Navy squadrons finally began taking P-8A Poseidon deliveries in 2012, but the long delays haven’t done their existing P-3 fleet any favors.
Filling the P-3 Orion’s shoes is certainly no easy task. What missions will the new P-8A Poseidon face? What do we know about the platform, the project team, and ongoing developments? Will the P-3’s wide global adoption give its successor a comparable level of export opportunities? Australia and India have already signed on, but has the larger market shifted in the interim?
- The Controversy: Turboprop, or Turbofan Jet?
- P-8A Poseidon: Platform & Capabilities
- P-8A Poseidon: History & Program
- P-8A Poseidon: Contracts & Events [updated]
- News & Analysis: India’s Interest, and Broader Export Potential
- Additional Readings & Sources