Y The P-8A fleet transition for the six East Coast squad-
rons homeported at NAS Jacksonville, Fla., is complete. The
P-8A Integrated Training Center at NAS Jacksonville is online
with 10 flight trainers and seven crew trainers and continues
to meet training requirements of the fleet squadrons. NAS
Whidbey Island commenced fleet transition training on Oct.
31, 2016. Patrol Squadron Four (VP- 4) is the first West Coast
squadron transitioning from the P-3C to the P-8A. All fleet
transitions are expected to complete in fiscal 2019. Seventh
Fleet deployments have been continuous since 2013. The first
Fifth Fleet deployment began during April 2016, while the first
Sixth Fleet deployment began in September 2016.
Australia joined the United States as a P-8A Inc 2 cooperative partner in April 2009. In January 2016, the U.S. Navy
definitized the seventh of 10 planned annual production contracts that include eight RAAF P-8A aircraft.
The Australian government approved four additional aircraft that will be included in the production contract to be
awarded in June 2017. The first Australian P-8A was delivered on Oct. 19, 2016. This combined procurement and the
commonality of the production configurations is expected to
produce unit cost savings for both partners, as well as substantial interoperability benefits during allied operations.
During July 2016, the U.K. Royal Air Force committed
to the procurement of nine P-8A aircraft through Foreign
Military Sales. Its package will include training devices, support and associated equipment.
The Indian Navy also has procured eight derivative aircraft, the P-8I, through Direct Commercial Sales and has
contracted for four more. Norway has announced its intention
to acquire five P-8s.
WINGSPAN: . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123. 6 feet
LENGTH: ................ 129.5feet
HEIGHT:................. 42. 1 feet
WEIGHT: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ; maximum;gross;takeoff,; 189,200;pounds
SPEED: ..................490 knots true air speed
CEILING:................. 41,000 feet
RANGE: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ; 1,200;nautical;miles;radius;with; 4;hours;on-station
POWER PLAN T: . . . . . . . . . . ; 2;CFM56-7BE;turbofan;engines;
CREW: .................. 9
ARMAMEN T:. . . . . . . . . . . . . ; Mk54;torpedoes,;AGM- 84;Harpoon;cruise;missiles
CONTRACTOR: . . . . . . . . . . ; Boeing;Co.;
BRIEFING: The P- 3 Orion has been the Navy’s frontline,
land-based maritime patrol aircraft since the early 1960s. The
P-3C Update III is the baseline configuration. It has advanced
submarine-detection sensors, magnetic anomaly detection
equipment and can carry a mixed payload of weapons internally and on wing pylons.
The P-3C Block Modification Upgrade (BMUP) has Update
III functionalities with more modern technology. There are 19
modified operational BMUP aircraft configured with the APS-
149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System.
The P-3C Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program
(AIP) includes enhancements in sensors, communications,
displays and controls, survivability and vulnerability, and
weapons capability. Major sensor systems include the APS-
137B (V) 5 synthetic aperture radar, USQ-78B acoustic
processing system, ASQ- 81 magnetic anomaly detection system, ALR- 95 ESM system and ASX- 4 EO/IR turret. The AIP
was installed in 72 P-3Cs between 1996 and 2007.
The P-3C communications and navigation, acoustic sensor
and weapons control systems are being maintained within sev-
eral programs to ensure the aircraft’s ability to satisfy Navy and
joint requirements through the early part of the 21st century.
These programs include:
n Communications, Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management
Program. Aircraft have been updated with a new technology
communications suite, Protected Instrument Landing Sys-
tem, Identification Friend-or-Foe Mode S, Traffic Collision
Avoidance System and required navigation performance en-
hancements including GPS. The program includes common
avionics improvements and modernized cockpit instrumen-
tation. Additional efforts include automatic dependent sur-
veillance broadcast capability to comply with Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) regulations, to be completed by 2018.
n Critical Obsolescence Program (COP). COP improved aircraft
availability through replacement of obsolete systems. COP
efforts have replaced the HF transceiver, data-link modem
(Link 11), autopilot and increased acoustic processing
n Command, Control, Communications and Computers for
Anti-submarine Warfare ( C4 for ASW) Program. C4 for ASW
incorporates Link 16, International Marine/Maritime
Satellite (Inmarsat) broadband connectivity into AIP
P-3Cs to maintain the aircraft’s tactical relevance through
enhanced situational awareness and communications
capabilities. The C4 for ASW program reached IOC in
September 2011 and has completed its production installa-
tion schedule on 52 airframes.
n Acoustics. Acoustics modifications have been installed to
the acoustic signal processing subsystems using rapid
COTS insertion and technology refreshes to provide a
system with improved processing, display and control
of acoustic data. These modifications to the P-3C ASW
sensor suite enable Multistatic Active Coherent capabil-
ity. In addition, all analog acoustic data recorders have
been replaced with digital recorders and the dated analog
sonobuoy receivers have been replaced.