^ RAF Poseidon MRA Mk.1 (Artists impression)Introduction
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly the Multimission Maritime Aircraft or MMA) is a military aircraft developed for the United States Navy. The aircraft has been developed by Boeing Defence, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX.
The P-8 conducts anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction, along with an electronic signals intelligence (ELINT) role. This involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. It is designed to operate in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle. The aircraft has been ordered by the Indian Navy as the P-8I Neptune, Royal Australian Air Force, and Royal Air Force.United Kingdom
In August 2012, it was reported that Boeing saw the United Kingdom as a market for the P-8, following the cancellation of Nimrod MRA4. On 23rd November 2015, the UK announced its intention to order nine P-8 aircraft as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015. The aircraft are to be based at RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland and be used to protect the UK's nuclear deterrent and new aircraft carriers. The P-8s are also to perform search-and-rescue missions and conduct overland reconnaissance. Deliveries of the P-8s are to begin before 2020.
On 25 March 2016, the U.S. State Department approved a proposed Foreign Military Sale to the UK for up to nine P-8 aircraft and associated support, at an estimated cost of $3.2 billion. The Royal Air Force plans to operate the P-8 with U.S. weapons initially, and possibly transition to British weapons later. It is unclear whether the UK will have access to future ground-surveillance capabilities being developed for the P-8.
On 11 July 2016, Boeing announced that they had signed a procurement contract with the Royal Air Force to supply nine P-8 aircraft and associated support infrastructure at a cost of $3.87 billion (£3 billion). Manufacture will be spread across three production lots over a ten year period, with deliveries commencing in 2019. Its RAF designation will be the Poseidon MRA Mk.1.Specifications (USN)Crew:
Flight: two; Mission: sevenLength:
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)Useful load:
19,800+ lb (9,000+ kg)Max. takeoff weight:
189,200 lb (85,820 kg)Powerplant:
2 × CFM56-7B turbofan, 27,000 lbf (120 kN) eachMaximum speed:
490 knots (907 km/h, 564 mph)Cruise speed:
440 kn (815 km/h, 509 mph)Combat radius:
1,200 nmi (2,222 km) ; 4 hours on station (for anti-submarine warfare mission)Ferry range:
over 4,000 nautical miles (7,500 km)Service ceiling:
41,000 ft (12,496 m)Armanent:
5 internal and 6 external stations for AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER, AGM-84 Harpoon, Mark 54 torpedo, missiles, mines, torpedoes, bombs, and a High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon system.Avionics:
Raytheon APY-10 multi-mission surface search radar (Advanced Airborne Sensor surface search radar and SIGINT package to be follow on system)