Air International 2021-09
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N.Pittaway - Proliferation of the Poseidon
The US Navy has received 108 of the 128 Poseidons under its current programme of record but has a future requirement for an additional ten
All eight P-81 aircraft from the Indian Navy’s earlier orders are pictured here at INS Rajali. Since this picture was taken a further two aircraft out of a follow-on order for four, have now been delivered
Australia is a co-operative partner with the US Navy on the P-8 programme and has influenced the capabilities of the aircraft, including integration of an air-droppable air-sea rescue kit, two of which are pictured here in the weapons bay of an RAAF P-8A
Based on the commercial 737 airliner, the P-8A has a weapons bay aft of the wing, capable of carrying a range of weapons, including torpedoes. Weapons, such as Harpoon anti-ship missiles can also be carried on four underwing hardpoints
Wearing its temporary US civil registration (N356DS), the 10th P-8I for the Indian Navy is pictured departing Boeing Field in Seattle on delivery to INS Rajali in July 2021.
The P-8A Poseidon is now the US Navy’s primary maritime surveillance aircraft, having replaced the Lockheed P-3C Orion
The P-8A Poseidon has proven to be an attractive proposition for many countries, with Germany the latest to sign on the dotted line
The German Navy (Deutsche Marine) will acquire five P-8As from 2024 to replace its P-3C Orion fleet, which has been in service since 2005. Germany acquired eight second-hand Orions from the Dutch Navy and a proposed capability upgrade programme has now been cancelled
In US Navy service, the Poseidon will serve alongside the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton high-altitude long- endurance (HALE) platform in a manned-unmanned approach to maritime surveillance
Norway became the fifth customer for the Poseidon, following the US, India, Australia and the UK, with an order for five aircraft in April 2017.
The five German P-8As will officially serve in an interim capacity, bridging a gap between retirement of the P-3C Orion and introduction of the French-German Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) programme in the mid-2030s
Initial Poseidons were delivered with five operator’s stations, forming a 'tactical rail' in the forward cabin, but recent deliveries have added a sixth station and earlier aircraft will be upgraded