The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (ALSO modified as neptune for indian navy) (formerly the Multimission Maritime Aircraft or MMA) is a military aircraft currently being developed for the United States Navy (USN). The aircraft is being developed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800.
The P-8 is intended to conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and shipping interdiction and to engage in an electronic intelligence (ELINT) role. This will involve carrying torpedoes, depth charges, SLAM-ER anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It will also be able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. It is designed to operate in conjunction with the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle. The P-8 has also been ordered by the Indian Navy.
Boeing approached the U.S. Air Force in 2010 about replacing the E-8C Joint STARS fleet with a modified version of the P-8 at the same cost Northrop Grumman proposed for re-engining and upgrading the E-8s. The proposed version is named P-8 Airborne Ground Surveillance (AGS) and would integrate an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, and have ground moving target indicator (GMTI) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) capabilities.
The main distinguishing feature of the P-8 AGS is pod-mounted radar, fixed to the lower centerline of the fuselage; the pod is lowered so the engine nacelles do not interrupt the radar’s line of sight. Two aft ventral fins on lower aft provide stability for the aircraft. The P-8 AGS also uses the P-8A’s Raytheon AN/APY-10 multi-mission surface search radar.Boeing has campaigned for a fleet of P-8 AGS aircraft instead of re-engining the E-8s. The Air Force’s Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) of the JSTARS platform began in March 2010 to review options for performing the JSTARS mission. An initial decision on the AOA was expected in September 2011
The P-8 is a militarized version of the 737-800 with 737-900-based wings. The airframe uses a 737-800-based fuselage that is similar to but longer than the 737-700-based C-40 Clipper. The P-8 has a strengthened fuselage and 767-400ER-style raked wingtips, instead of the blended winglets available on 737NG variants. The five operator stations (two Naval Flight Officers plus three enlisted Aviation Warfare Operators/Naval Aircrewman) are mounted in a sideways row, along the port side of the cabin. None of these crew stations have windows. One observer window is located on each side of the forward cabin.
The P-8 features the Raytheon APY-10 multi-mission surface search radar. The P-8I will feature an international version of the APY-10. A short bomb bay for torpedoes and other stores opens behind the wing. The aircraft also includes six additional body fuel tanks for extended range from Marshall Aerospace; three of the tanks are located in the forward cargo compartment and three in the rear. In-flight refueling is via a receptacle on top of the forward fuselage, just aft of the cockpit.
In U.S. service, the Poseidon will be complemented by the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance UAV system, which will provide continuous surveillance. The system is expected to enter service around 2010. Around 40 UAVs based on the RQ-4 Global Hawk will be used in the program. Because of the cancellation of Lockheed Martin’s Aerial Common Sensorproject, Boeing will propose a signals intelligence variant of the P-8 to service the requirement for the U.S. Navy.
In January 2008, Boeing proposed the P-8I, a customized export variant of the P-8A, for the Indian Navy. On 4 January 2009, India’sMinistry of Defence signed an agreement with Boeing for the supply of eight P-8Is at a total cost of US$2.1 billion. These aircraft would replace Indian Navy’s aging Tupolev Tu-142M maritime surveillance turboprops. Each aircraft has an average cost of about US$220 million. The deal makes India the first international customer of the P-8, and also marks Boeing’s first military sale to India. In October 2010, India’s Defence Acquisition Council of the Ministry of Defence approved the purchase of four additional P-8Is. In March 2011, it was reported that India was to order four additional P-8s from Boeing later in the year. India plans to order another 12 P-8Is at a later time.
The Data Link II communications technology for the P-8I was received by Boeing from Bharat Electronics Limited in April 2010. The communications system will enable exchange of tactical data and messages between Indian Navy aircraft, ships and shore establishments. Boeing will install the system during P-8I final assembly. The IFF, system from BEL was also handed over to Boeing for integration with P-8I in December 2010.
Flight testing of P-8Is began in July 2012, with deliveries planned to start in 2013. The first P-8I was handed over to an Indian naval team at the Boeing facility at Seattle on 19 December 2012. The Indian Navy is to fly it to India along with the second and third aircraft after they handed over in May and June of next year.
Indian Navy has 8 P-8I aircraft on order; deliveries began in December 2012.
- Crew: Flight: 2; Mission: 7
- Length: 129 ft 5 in (39.47 m)
- Wingspan: 123 ft 6 in (37.64 m)
- Height: 42 ft 1 in (12.83 m)
- Empty weight: 138,300 lb (62,730 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 189,200 lb (85,820 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × CFM56-7B turbofan, 27,000 lbf (120 kN) each
- Maximum speed: 490 knots (907 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 440 kn (815 km/h)
- Range: 1,200 nmi (2,222 km) 4 hours on station (Anti-submarine warfare mission)
- Service ceiling: 41,000 ft (12,496 m)
- (5 internal and 6 external) SLAM-ER missiles, Mines and Torpedoes.
- Raytheon APY-10 multi-mission surface search radar
- (Advanced Airborne Sensor surface search radar and SIGINT package to be follow on system)