Official name: P-8A Poseidon (Multimission Maritime Aircraft or MMA).
Manufactured: Boeing (USA).
Type: Patrol and anti-submarine maritime aircraft.
Propulsion: Twin CFM56-7B engines with 27,000 pounds of thrust each.
Maximum speed: 565 mph.
Service ceiling: 41,000 feet.
Flight radius: 1,200 nautical miles.
Empty weight: 138,300 lbs.
Maximum takeoff weight: 187,700 lbs.
Wingspan: 123.6 feet.
Length: 129.5 feet.
Height: 42.1 feet.
Weaponry: Large capacity for various torpedoes, mines, and/or anti-ship missiles.
Development Status: First flight took place on April 25, 2009. The US has ordered 108 Poseidons with potential export operators being Australia, India, and Italy.
Analysis: The airframe of the P-8 is a heavily modified 737-800. In addition to anti-ship and anti-sub missions, the P-8’s main role will be in electronic intelligence. It is designed to work in conjunction with new UAVs and has the capability to combine its own intel with that of the UAVs to better coordinate potential attacks and missions by the Navy. Due to the failure of Lockheed’s Aerial Common Sensor aircraft, Boeing is expected to propose a signals intel upgrade of the P-8 to the Navy.
Miscellaneous: The project was born out of the failed P-7 project to replace the rapidly deteriorating P-3 Orion. The Poseidon beat out the British Nimrod MRA4 and the Lockheed Orion 21 upgrade. Aircraft implementation is expected to begin in 2013. Boeing is using several big name sub-contractors including General Electric, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon.