AIRCRAFT REPORT: P-8A Poseidon the king of the seas

Lon Nordeen charts the ongoing development of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon and details how the maritime patrol aircraft has proven its worth over oceanic skies as orders for the type continue to grow


The P-8A program is one of the major defense acquisition success stories that seldom makes the news. Deliveries have continued for nearly a decade and the aircraft has replaced the Lockheed P-3C Orion, which formed the backbone of the US Navy’s maritime patrol fleet for more than 30 years.

Developed by Boeing, the P-8A Poseidon has demonstrated better performance and greater reliability, and possesses more advanced sensors, new capabilities and room for growth for the USN and its many export customers. The platform entered full-rate production in 2013, is now well established within the US Navy (USN) and is entering service with the air arms of many other nations.

A United States Navy-operated Boeing P-8A Poseidon launches threeAGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles during the type’s first dynamic stores release test flight in January 2013. US Navy

Program requirements

The USN P-8A maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) requirement called for thefollowing capabilities:

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