Naval Power and Force Projection

Summer 2017

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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Aircraft production and delivery of the U.S. Navy's P-8A Poseidon Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) platform continues on schedule in support of the on-going transition of fleet squadrons from P-3C to P-8A. Eight of 10 lots of production aircraft, including 91 aircraft, trainers, spares and support equipment, are on contract with Boeing Defense Space and Security. As of June 7, 2017, fleet squadrons have received 56 aircraft on or ahead of schedule. "Ongoing program initiatives are focused on proactive coordination with allies, adjusting aircraft delivery schedules and accelerating acquisition milestones to maintain efficient aircraft build rates," said U.S. Navy Capt. Tony Rossi, program manager for the Maritime Patrol & Reconnaissance Aircraft program office. "Since workups for the initial deployment back in Dec. 2013, we've helped the fleet to successfully transition from the legacy P-3C to the P-8A aircraft." Transition training is already complete for the six east coast fleet squadrons, one fleet replacement squadron, and one west coast fleet squadron. Transition is on track for completion during 2019. As of May 2017, the P-8A fleet has exceeded 100,000 flight hours since the initial USN production Lot 1 aircraft delivery during March 2012. Since December 2013, there have been continuous fleet deployments. The P-8A Fleet Introduction Team supports squadron training using high fidelity pilot and aircrew simulators at the P-8A Integrated Training Center (ITC) at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Fla. The ITC is meeting training requirements of the Fleet Replacement Squadron, while also successfully reducing requirements for on-aircraft training at this facility. The west coast fleet transition training at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., began during October 2016. Currently, the transition is underway for a second squadron. The P-8A has also completed its first fleet delivery of pre-planned incremental capability upgrades. "The first upgrade under what we call P-8A Increment 2 (Inc 2) added broad-area, multi-static acoustic ASW enhancements," said Rossi. "This capability, referred to as Multi-Static Active Coherent (MAC), significantly increases the P-8A's ASW search rate. Additionally, the aircraft is scheduled to receive periodic future enhancements to pace the ASW threat." Coalition Cooperation "The program office is continuing discussions with several nations that have expressed interest in acquiring the P-8A through Foreign Military Sales (FMS)," said Rossi. "Interest from allies includes both establishing and recapitalizing their maritime patrol aircraft capabilities. These partnerships create savings for both the USN and its partners." The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) joined the USN as a P-8A Inc 2 cooperative partner in April 2009. This agreement authorized the RAAF procurement of Inc 2 capable P-8A aircraft, participation in development of common sustainment strategies for the life of the aircraft, and participation in development of new platform capabilities. During August 2016, the United Kingdom Royal Airforce (UK RAF) joined the program as an FMS case, followed by Norway in March 2017. The RAAF's FMS case includes nine aircraft and associated support, with the first aircraft delivery during April 2019. The Norwegian FMS case includes five aircraft and support, with the first delivery expected during 2012-2022 timeframe. . On March 30, 2017, the FY 17 Lot-8 aircraft production contract was awarded, and included 11 USN, four RAAF and two UK RAF P-8A aircraft. This combined procurement and the commonality of the production configurations is expected to produce unit cost savings for all partners, as well as substantial interoperability benefits during allied operations. CAPT Tony Rossi ADVANCING ANTI-SUB WARFARE P-8A POSEIDON www.tacticaldefensemedia.com NP&FP and DoD P&E | Summer 2017 | 9

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