Naval Aviation Ascends with P-8A Poseidon for Maritime Patrol

Naval Aviation Ascends with P-8A Poseidon for Maritime Patrol

By Dialogo
March 03, 2015






After more than 50 years since having introduced a new aircraft, the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF) is moving forward with a new aircraft for Naval Aviation. It last introduced the P-3 Orion as its latest and greatest in 1961, launching it to be operational in 1966.

But the P-3, the Navy’s four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft is now being succeeded by a newer maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon.

While the P-3 has performed combat roles during the Vietnam War and the Cold War since 1966, with a primary mission in anti-submarine warfare, its mission set was expanded to include joint maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance flights, such as those it performs at the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO)/U.S. 4th Fleet’s Cooperative Security Location (CSL) in Comalapa, El Salvador.

For U.S. Navy Commander Greg Smith, VP-26 Commanding Officer, who has flown the Orion for 15 years, the aircraft has been good to him and his fellow sailors, but he’s ready to transition to the Poseidon, according to news4jax.com. “You’re looking at some of the latest technology we can put in an airplane, so it’s very capable.”

While the P-8A Poseidon also conducts anti-submarine warfare (ASW), it additionally conducts anti-surface warfare (AsuW), and shipping interdiction along with a role in electronic signals intelligence, which involves carrying weapons such as torpedoes, cruise missiles, bombs, and mines. It also has the ability to drop and monitor sonobuoy sonar systems.

According to the U.S. Navy, the Poseidon’s “highly reliable airframe and state-of-the-art open architecture mission systems are a significant technological leap forward and provide commanders with a reliable platform hosting advanced technology sensors.” This combination, they say, coupled with next-generation sensors will dramatically improve ASW and ASuW capabilities.

“The replacement to the P-8A Poseidon is designed to secure the Navy’s future in long-range maritime patrol capability, while transforming how the Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance force will man, train, operate, and deploy,” said a U.S. Navy fact file on the P-8A multi-mission maritime aircraft. “The P-8A will provide more combat capability from a smaller force and less infrastructure while focusing on worldwide responsiveness and interoperability with traditionally manned forces and evolving unmanned sensors.”

On January 22, the Tridents, the Navy’s Patrol Squadron VP-26 initiated their last deployment with the P-3C Orion from the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida. Two of the 10 aircraft representing the last operational P-3 squadron on the United States’ East Coast took off to El Salvador and Bahrain with 300 men and women onboard.

The CSl in Comalapa serves as a forward operating location for maritime patrol, reducing transit times and increasing on station effectiveness to support multi-national counter illicit missions. It was developed by the U.S. navy and Air Force to provide support for deployed forces and aircraft conducting these operations under the auspices of SOUTHCOM. The CSL provides the detection and monitoring capability required by the Counter Illicit Trafficking mission.

One of the types of missions the aircraft supports from Comalapa is Operation MARTILLO, an international operation with Western Hemisphere and European partners in an effort to curtail illicit trafficking routes on both coasts of the Central American isthmus.

Maritime Patrol Air is a critical capability for NAVSO. Having realized that, “the Navy provides our CSL with aircraft and crews on a rotating basis from both coasts,” said Lewis Preddy, Strategic Communication and Training Support Specialist for NAVSO/4th Fleet. Now, these will be performed by the P-8A Poseidon.

Named after the “God of the Sea” also known as “Earth-Shaker” in Greek mythology, the Poseidon measures 39.4 meters in length, is 12.83 meters tall, and has a wingspan of 35.72 feet, all within a 188,200-pound body. It can hold a crew of nine and reach 490 knots of airspeed with a range of 1,200 nautical miles radius with four hours on station. The P-8A model is a specific model designed for the U.S. Navy.







After more than 50 years since having introduced a new aircraft, the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF) is moving forward with a new aircraft for Naval Aviation. It last introduced the P-3 Orion as its latest and greatest in 1961, launching it to be operational in 1966.

But the P-3, the Navy’s four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft is now being succeeded by a newer maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon.

While the P-3 has performed combat roles during the Vietnam War and the Cold War since 1966, with a primary mission in anti-submarine warfare, its mission set was expanded to include joint maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance flights, such as those it performs at the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO)/U.S. 4th Fleet’s Cooperative Security Location (CSL) in Comalapa, El Salvador.

For U.S. Navy Commander Greg Smith, VP-26 Commanding Officer, who has flown the Orion for 15 years, the aircraft has been good to him and his fellow sailors, but he’s ready to transition to the Poseidon, according to news4jax.com. “You’re looking at some of the latest technology we can put in an airplane, so it’s very capable.”

While the P-8A Poseidon also conducts anti-submarine warfare (ASW), it additionally conducts anti-surface warfare (AsuW), and shipping interdiction along with a role in electronic signals intelligence, which involves carrying weapons such as torpedoes, cruise missiles, bombs, and mines. It also has the ability to drop and monitor sonobuoy sonar systems.

According to the U.S. Navy, the Poseidon’s “highly reliable airframe and state-of-the-art open architecture mission systems are a significant technological leap forward and provide commanders with a reliable platform hosting advanced technology sensors.” This combination, they say, coupled with next-generation sensors will dramatically improve ASW and ASuW capabilities.

“The replacement to the P-8A Poseidon is designed to secure the Navy’s future in long-range maritime patrol capability, while transforming how the Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance force will man, train, operate, and deploy,” said a U.S. Navy fact file on the P-8A multi-mission maritime aircraft. “The P-8A will provide more combat capability from a smaller force and less infrastructure while focusing on worldwide responsiveness and interoperability with traditionally manned forces and evolving unmanned sensors.”

On January 22, the Tridents, the Navy’s Patrol Squadron VP-26 initiated their last deployment with the P-3C Orion from the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida. Two of the 10 aircraft representing the last operational P-3 squadron on the United States’ East Coast took off to El Salvador and Bahrain with 300 men and women onboard.

The CSl in Comalapa serves as a forward operating location for maritime patrol, reducing transit times and increasing on station effectiveness to support multi-national counter illicit missions. It was developed by the U.S. navy and Air Force to provide support for deployed forces and aircraft conducting these operations under the auspices of SOUTHCOM. The CSL provides the detection and monitoring capability required by the Counter Illicit Trafficking mission.

One of the types of missions the aircraft supports from Comalapa is Operation MARTILLO, an international operation with Western Hemisphere and European partners in an effort to curtail illicit trafficking routes on both coasts of the Central American isthmus.

Maritime Patrol Air is a critical capability for NAVSO. Having realized that, “the Navy provides our CSL with aircraft and crews on a rotating basis from both coasts,” said Lewis Preddy, Strategic Communication and Training Support Specialist for NAVSO/4th Fleet. Now, these will be performed by the P-8A Poseidon.

Named after the “God of the Sea” also known as “Earth-Shaker” in Greek mythology, the Poseidon measures 39.4 meters in length, is 12.83 meters tall, and has a wingspan of 35.72 feet, all within a 188,200-pound body. It can hold a crew of nine and reach 490 knots of airspeed with a range of 1,200 nautical miles radius with four hours on station. The P-8A model is a specific model designed for the U.S. Navy.


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