The US Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), the Patrol Squadron Thirty VP-30, has taken delivery of the 15th low-rate initial production P-8A aircraft.
Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11 in Jacksonville, Florida, commodore captain Sean Liedman said: "This aircraft adds to our growing fleet of P-8As and bolsters our capacity to begin the transition of the fourth P-8 squadron in Jacksonville."
Mainly aimed at replacing the P-3C Orion as a long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, the latest delivery comes in the wake of the first ever operational deployment for the P-8A Poseidon.
In July, the War Eagles of Patrol Squadron 16 (VP-16) successfully deployed the P-8A maritime patrol aircraft to support the commander of Task Force (CTF) 72, through the western Pacific area of operations with anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.
The aircraft provided intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, maritime domain awareness, search and rescue, carrier strike group coordination and theatre security cooperation tasks.
VP-16 commanding officer commander Dan Papp said: "The P-8A exceeded P-3 performance in every historical measure of performance, including mission completion rate, on-time takeoff rate, number of in-flight aborts, and persistence at range.
"The P-8A proved to be a game-changer for [the] theatre anti-submarine warfare (TASW) in the western Pacific due to its increased range and endurance, higher dash speed to get to the area of action faster, and larger passive search area due to its capability to process 64 vice 32 sonobuoys.
"Additionally, P-8’s acoustic processor demonstrated better reliability and longer passive detection ranges than a P-3."
Over the course of the deployment, the P-8A’s ALQ-240 electronic support measures (ESM) system extended the tactical surveillance range, while its datalink and sensor fusion capability improved aircrew situational awareness and provided higher-fidelity tactical reporting to operational commanders.
Image: The US Navy’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft taking off from Naval Air Station Jacksonville. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy, ClarkPierce / Released.