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Monday, March 24, 2014

Today's sophisticated anti-submarine aircraft

In addition to the AP-3C Orion aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a P-8 Poseidon aircraft of the U.S. Navy also participated in the search for Malaysia Airlines's MH370 plane that missing since Saturday, March 8, 2014.

As reported by CNN, on Sunday, March 23, 2014, a P-8 Poseidon conducted an inquiry low flight into the Indian Ocean area, where the object measuring 22.5 x 13.5 meters which is thought to be MH370's debris as imaged by the China's satellite.
US-Navy P3 Poseidon. (Picture from: http://theaviationist.com/)
P-8 Poseidon is the most advanced anti-submarine aircraft today. In the U.S. Navy, the aircraft is replacing the P-3 Orion aircraft that have been used since the 1950s. What kind of profiles and sophistication of this aircraft?

As quoted from the Boeing and Flightglobal site, the P-8 Poseidon aircraft originally was produced specifically for the U.S. Navy by Boeing Defense, Space, and Security. This aircraft is a modification of the civillian aviation aircraft, Boeing 737-800ER.
Interior view of US-Navy P-8 Posedion cockpit. (Picture from: https://www.flightglobal.com/)
This military aircraft was developed for several major goals, such as monitoring and attack foreign submarines and fleets on the surface, as well as monitoring, surveillance, and reconnaissance for a variety of purposes.

One purpose of replacing the P-3 Orion with the Boeing P-8 Poseidon itself is to reduce the mission and maintenance cost. P-8 Poseidon said to be able to carry more cargo, fly at higher altitudes, as well as reach a wider area.
Cross-section of P-8 Posedion cockpit. (Picture from: http://www.militaryparitet.com/)
Some sophisticated devices owned by the aircraft with 39.47 meters long is the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC) and AGM-88 Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile. P-8 Poseidon also has a hydrocarbon sensor that is used to detect the submarine fuel vapor. It can carry 9 crew in the cabin, the P-8 Poseidon is able to carry out the missions for 6 hours to span the region 1,100 km and 4 hours for a range of 2,000 km region.

Although more advanced, the P-8 Poseidon still carries a powerful device that is already owned by the P-3 Orion which was built by Lockheed Martin, the Magnetic Anomaly Radar (MAD), a device that serves to detect large metal objects at depths of the oceans, such as submarines.

The P-3 Poseidon first flew in a test on April 25, 2009. Then the skill flight test is performed in August 2010. Mass production of a limited number of starts since March 4, 2012. As of July 2013, there were 15 aircrafts that has been made.

To date, there have been several aircraft types. P-8 Poseidon being developed for the U.S. Navy named the P-8A. Indian army ordered P-8I Neptune aircraft. RAAF also ordered eight of P-8A aircrafts type. While the U.S. Air Force ordered P-8 AGS for land monitoring.
Boeing's engineers during the installation of Raytheon Co's AN/APY-10 radar on the P-8 Poseidon's nose. (Picture from: http://www.key.aero/)
In MH370 search mission, as quoted from IBTimes, on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, a very useful device is made AN/APY-10 Radar that made by Raytheon Co. This radar lied in the nose of the aircraft that is capable of detecting metal debris even in high waves.

In January 2014, Bloomberg reports which was citing from the sources at the Pentagon, Michael Gilmore, stated that the aircraft at a price per unit of approximately U.S. $201.4 million (according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office report in March 2013) is less effective in surveillance and reconnaissance submarine in a large area.

Boeing responded to the report by stating that it will work hard to meet the demand of the military. However, Boeing stated that basically radar and other devices P-8 Poseidon is qualified, beating the P-3 Orion.

Related to the report, the U.S. Navy itself has not changed their plans to apply 117 units of the P-8 Poseidon in the year of 2019. Program to replace the P-3 Orion to the P-8 Poseidon itself had to cost more than U.S. $30 billion.. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | BOEING | FLIGHT GLOBAL]
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