The US Navy has received a new P-8A aircraft at Naval Air Station Patuxent River following a series of successful ground tests.

The T-2 is the second test aircraft to complete the first mission systems tests, which were conducted as a joint operation between a P-3 and the P-8 aircraft.

The aircraft performed as per the set standards in the areas of acoustics, communications and radar system functions during the flight tests at Boeing’s Seattle facilities.

Both the P-8 and P-3 aircraft operated in the tests to evaluate acoustic system performance and conduct a direct comparison of the mission results.

The flight test involved the deployment of more than 30 sonobuoys by the P-3 aircraft, and demonstrated the acoustic subsystem capabilities of receiving, processing and displaying buoy data.

The third test aircraft in the programme, T-3, is scheduled to arrive at Patuxent River in teh next few months.

The test aircraft will focus on extensive mission systems and weapons system testing to ensure the aircraft’s capability to perform anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

The initial operational capability for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft is scheduled to begin in 2013 when it will replace the P-3C Orion as the navy’s premier maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.