The P-8 Poseidon is a military aircraft that is being developed to help the U.S. Navy with anti-submarine warfare and intelligence gathering.
Torpedoes and Depth Charges
The P-8 Poseidon aircraft is being developed by the Boeing Co.’s Defense, Space and Security division and is based on the Boeing 737-800 airplane. The P-8 Poseidon is being developed to help the U.S. Navy carry out a variety of Maritime missions, or activities over water, such as anti-submarine warfare, shipping interception, and gathering electronic intelligence. The P-8 Poseidon had its first test flight on April 25, 2009. The aircraft is expected to be introduced with the U.S. Navy in 2013, although that date is subject to change and depends on the plane’s development.
In its role with the U.S. Navy, the P-8 Poseidon will carry a number of different weapons, including torpedoes, depth charges and anti-ship missiles. The aircraft will also be equipped with sonobuoys, which is a sonar system that will allow the Navy to listen under water and acquire research information and intelligence. The P-8 Poseidon can carry a total of six additional fuel tanks to help it remain in the air during extended flight missions.
The U.S. Department of Defense is seeking international cooperation from America’s military allies in the development of the P-8 Poseidon. This is the same approach that is being used by the U.S. military to develop the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. Both Australia and Canada have expressed interest in acquiring the P-8 Poseidon for use over their own coastal waters, and each country could spend as much as US$300 million on the plane’s development in order to secure access to the aircraft. Italy and India have also expressed interest in the P-8 Poseidon.
The P-8 Poseidon has a maximum mission crew of seven people, and a maximum takeoff weight of just under 190,000 pounds. The aircraft can travel at a cruising speed of 800 kilometers an hour and contains advanced search radar systems provided by the Raytheon Company.