Boeing P-8 Poseidon

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Boeing P-8A Poseidon
Description (data for -800)
RoleASW/Sea surveillance aircraft
First Flight25 April 2009
Entered ServiceFebruary, 2012
Sucessor ofLockheed P-3 Orion
Number builtin production
Unit costM$200 - M$275
Length39.5 m129 ft 5 in
Wingspan37.64 m123 ft 6 in
Height12.83 m41 ft 1 in
Wing area125 m²@ ft²
Empty Weight62,730 kg138,300 lb
Maximum takeoff weight85,820 kg189,200 lb
Enginestwo CFM International CFM56-7B27
Thrust121.4 kN (each)5,480 lbf (each)
Maximum speed907 km/hMach @
Cruise speed815 km/hMach @
Range (max load)2,222 km1,200 nm
Service ceiling12,500 m41,000 ft
Armament11 weapon hard points (five in the bomb bay, four under the wings and two under the fuselage), total weapons load 10,000 kg (22,000 pounds); AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER, misseles, mines, torpedoes, Boeing HAAWC





The P-8 Poseidon is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft. The P-8 is unique in that it has 767-400ER-style raked wingtips, instead of the blended winglets available on other 737NG variants and is designed for maximum take-off gross weight of 187,000 lbs (85.139 tons). It will have a 1,200 nm range, sustain four hours on station. The plane accommodates a crew of 9 and is powered by CFM56-7 engines. According to CFM International, protrusions in the engine nacelle are needed to make room for the bulkier 180kVA integrated drive generators (IDG), one for each engine, that the US Navy needed for its mission. The 737-800, on which the P-8A is largely based, uses 90 kVA generators. The P-8 will carry the Raytheon AN/APY-10, itself a derative of the AN/APS-137. Its provides maritime, littoral, and overland mission capabilities and has a mission radius of 1,250nm (2,315km). The multi-mode system supports SAR and ISAR operating modes, surface search and periscope detection with TWS capability, navigation, weather modes. The ESM suite is a Northrop Grumman supplied AN/ALQ-240(V)1.

P-8I Neptune

Boeing company designation for model ordered by India to replace the Ilyushin Il-38 May in Indian Naval service, equipped with the AN/APY-10(I) with added air-to-air modes. To ensure 360 degree scanning however, the Indian Navy has got an aft AN/APS-143C(V)3 Multi-Mode Radar for rear coverage. Finally, the P-8I is - unlike the US Navy P-8A - equipped with MAD equipment.

Proposed versions


Boeing proposed successor to the EP-3 Aries fleet to provide an airborne ISR platform based on the P-8A airframe. Raytheon would provide the sensor-systems integration. Not ordered yet.

Incremental development

Increment 1

Initial Poseidons are delivered in the Increment 1 standard, essentially an improved version of the P-3C Orion mission systems. Increment 1, scheduled to start in 2015, include ECP-1 (Multistatic Active Coherent acoustic capability, increasing ASW detection and tracking capabilities), ECP-2 (Automatic Identification System and HAAWC Phase 1 integration) and ECP-3 (full HAAWC capability and Mk54 torpedo integration).

Increment 2

Increment 2 will focus on anti-submarine warfare. The aircraft will be equipped with a new Multi-static Active Coherent (MAC) system, which will enable the fast, high-flying jet to search for enemy submarines over a much larger area with a network of active and passive sonar buoys. The other part of the Increment 2 upgrade includes the AIS, integration if the external Raytheon AN/APS-154 Advanced Airborne Sensor pod, (a derivative of the Raytheon AN/APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System), new computer architecture to add rapidly add new capabilities, a new TOC, and a high altitude ASW system. The TOC would allow a MQ-4C BAMS UAV to coordinate seamlessly with the P-8, and would allow the Poseidon to better manage its various ASW activities and sensors. Those capabilities should become operational around fiscal year 2015.

Increment 3

A follow-on Increment 3 capability is not yet been fully defined, but will include the ability to have some level of control of the MQ-4C Triton. It would also have further architecture improvements to allow for roll-on/roll-off capabilities that might enable the jet to take over certain intelligence-gathering missions currently assigned to the EP-3 Aries. It would also have a new high-altitude ASW weapon and a new "digital, net-ready" anti-surface ship weapon that would improve upon on the existing AGM-84 Harpoon missile. It might also incorporate JDAM weapons and the AAS radar, a development of the AN/APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS) carried by US Navy P-3C BMUP Orion aircraft. The AAS will allow the P-8 Poseidon to provide targeting information for onboard AGM-84H Harpoon or RGM-109/UGM-109 Tomahawk Block IV missiles carried by other US Navy ships or submarines.


It is being developed for the US Navy to replace its ageing Lockheed P-3 Orion fleet. The US Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8A to replace its fleet of P-3 Orion aircraft.


First LRIP contract (LRIP-1) for six aircraft, awarded January 2011 by the US Navy. On March 4, 2012 Boeing officially delivered the first production P-8A Poseidon aircraft (LRIP-1-1) to the US Navy.


Second LRIP contract (LRIP-2) for seven aircraft, awarded November 3, 2011.


Third LRIP contract (LRIP-3) for eleven aircraft (worth $1.9 bn), awarded September 25, 2012.


Fourth LRIP contract (LRIP-4) for thirteen aircraft (worth $2 bn), awarded August 1st, 2013.


First FRP contract (LRIP-5) for sixteen aircraft (worth $2.4 bn), awarded February 26, 2014.




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