Boeing P-8 Poseidon

The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is a maritime patrol and anti-submarine hunting aircraft the United States Navy. The twin-engine aircraft is the result of the "Multi - mission Maritime Aircraft - " program (temporarily referred to as " MMA " ) and based on the short-and medium -haul aircraft Boeing 737-800. With the U.S. Navy P -8 to replace the P-3 - Orion fleet. As the first export customer for India used the machine nicknamed Neptune.

  • 4.1 prospects



The development of the P-8 can be traced back to the mid- 1980s. At that time, the U.S. Navy was looking for a possible replacement for the P-3 and began to define the requirements for such a machine. The primary requirement was the reduction in operating costs compared to the P-3. These suffered from a relatively strong material fatigue, which is why the new machine should have an airframe with a high life expectancy. Furthermore, were called for an increased range or an extended patrol duration and a lower overall weight. In 1989, the Navy awarded a development contract to Lockheed, which included the construction of two prototypes. These so-called P-7 machines were never built since 1990 Lockheed the contract was withdrawn after a cost overrun of 300 million U.S. dollars had to be given.

After the end of the Cold War and the resulting cuts in the defense budget, the search for a successor to the P -3 was initially abandoned. The life of the airframe was first extended by various modernization programs. As hinted that this would in the long run also very expensive, a new development program was started in 2000 - the multi-mission Maritime Aircraft Program. In contrast to the original requirements was sacrifice the weight reduction, since one was willing to take this for longer ranges and operating times into account. Furthermore, the requirements have been increased in the area of ​​avionics and communication system. New in the specifications also the requirement that the new machines UAVs can control without additional ground-based equipment was should.

First took only Boeing and Lockheed Martin participates in the new competition. Lockheed beat it before the so-called Orion 21, in which it was a completely revised version of the old turboprop P-3. Meanwhile, Boeing took a different path and made ​​a proposal, which provided for a modification of its 737- 800ERX airliner. 2001 BAE Systems rose with the Nimrod MRA.4 in the ongoing competition. They offered a modernized version of the old Nimrod MR.Mk.2 from 1969, which has already been newly developed for the British Navy. However, BAe moved in October 2002, down from the competition because it was realized that it would have been politically impossible to prevail against the U.S. competitors. Finally, on 14 June 2004, Boeing won the competition.

After the U.S. manufacturers could choose the 3.9 billion U.S. dollars serious MMA program, gave the U.S. Navy on July 8, 2004, the first five machines in order. In early August 2008, the assembly of the first prototype P -8A -T1 was completed in Renton factory. Was then started in Seattle with the instrumentation and various ground tests. On April 25, 2009, the first P -8A had its first flight, so that as of 2013, the Lockheed P-3 can replace the latest. Drop tests of sonar buoys began in October 2010 at the NAS Patuxent River. On 19 July 2011, the first pre-production started from the comprehensive six aircraft LRIP1 - Vorserienvertrag in Renton for its maiden flight. Overall, the U.S. Navy plans to procure 108 aircraft, thereby reducing the costs amount to about 15 billion U.S. dollars. In addition to Boeing are involved as a supplier, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Spirit AeroSystems, GE Aviation Systems, Marshall Aerospace, CFMI, BAE Systems and Marotta. Due to the cancellation of Lockheed Martin to develop the "Aerial Common Sensor " project, Boeing now uses a Linux system from Wind River Systems for reconnaissance and mission systems.

The testing of the P-8 is performed by the Test and Evaluation Squadron VX -1 and VX -20, stationed at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. On February 3, the first time took a P-8 participated in an exercise the U.S. Navy, with a total of 34 training missions were flown as part of " Bold Alligator". The test program of the U.S. Navy was completed in early April 2013, the first machine to have its premiere in December in a foreign assignment.

The P-8 has been demonstrated at the Dubai Airshow in 2013 for the first time at an international air show to a wider audience.

On 29 November 2013, P-8 Poseidon reached its Initial Operating Capability (IOC ).


(As of June 2011)


The P-8 Poseidon is based on the civil engine Boeing 737, originally from the version 737-800 fuselage was reinforced to carry the increased load statement and be able to integrate a weapons bay. The extensive sensor systems whose antenna systems are visible along the fuselage, as well as the avionics made ​​this amplification necessary. At the originating from the Boeing 737-900 wing also weapons can be carried.

The most important element of the monitoring equipment, then the synthetic wideband radar Raytheon AN/APY-10 ( JETDS designation), an evolution of the AN/APS-137-Radars with reduced power and space requirements.


  • P -8A: Basic version for the U.S. Navy, serving also for export to Australia and Canada.
  • P- 8I: export version of the P -8A for the Indian Navy, which has a need for 12 to 16 machines. Parts of the electronic originate from Indian production. Another major difference between the P -8A and P- 8I is that the latter has a second APY -10 radar in the rear fuselage, which thus provides a 360 ° view.
  • EP -8: Unrealized SIGINT variant of the P-8 as a replacement for the obsolete Lockheed EP -3E Aries. The U.S. Navy considered the acquisition 19-26 machines under EP - X program, but this broke in favor of an unmanned platform from.
  • P-8 AGS: A offered by Boeing 2010 " Airborne Ground Surveillance" version for the U.S. Air Force as a replacement for the E-8 Joint STAR after the E-10 had been MC2A deleted. The design, in which an AESA radar in the hull and Sensorpods would be installed on the wings, is considered as an alternative to upgrading the E-8 fleet.


  • Australia Australia:
  • India India:
  • United States United States:


  • Canada Canada: Canada, has expressed interest in the project stage of the P -8. Here, too, the P- 3 fleet, as CP -140 Aurora referred to, should be replaced.
  • Italy Italy: 2004 Italy expressed interest in the P -8. Plans for the acquisition, however, were abandoned in 2008.



The following armament options are planned for the P-8:

  • 5 x Boeing AGM- 84K " SLAM -ER ATA " - cruise missiles against land targets or ships
  • 5 x Boeing AGM- 84L " Harpoon Block II " - anti-ship missiles
  • 5 × Raytheon Mark 54 MAKO (diameter 324 mm, lightweight hybrid torpedo )
  • 3-5 × unknown underwater mines type
  • 4 × Boeing AGM- 84K " SLAM -ER ATA "
  • 4 × Boeing AGM- 84L " Harpoon Block II " - anti-ship missiles

Avionics and Sensors

  • Raytheon AN/APY-10
  • AN/AAR-54 - rocket Warner
  • AN/AAQ-24 - system for countermeasures in the infrared region
  • AN/ALE-47 - release system for decoys
  • AN/ALQ-213 - management system for all defense subsystems
  • AN/ALQ-240 - Reception and identification of electronic signals in all frequency ranges