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P-8 Poseidon
Multimission Maritime Aircraft (MMA)

The P-8A is a part of a family of systems, including the MQ-4C Triton, that share the integrated maritime patrol mission and support the Navy's maritime warfighting capability. The P-8A/MQ-4C combination will be responsible for all the missions currently covered by VP, Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadrons (VQ), and Patrol Squadron Special Projects Unit (VPU). The P-8A Poseidon replaces the P-3C Orion as a long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. The P-8A Poseidon is designed to secure the Navys future in long-range maritime patrol capability, while transforming how the Navys maritime patrol and reconnaissance force will man, train, operate and deploy. The P-8A will provide more combat capability from a smaller force and less infrastructure while focusing on worldwide responsiveness and interoperability with traditional manned forces and evolving unmanned sensors.

The program achieved IOC in November 2013, ahead of its January 2014 threshold date. The USD(AT&L) approved an FRP decision in January 2014. The program has now met all schedule APB thresholds. Inc 2 ECP activities are on schedule or within months of plan. The program continues to meet established reliability requirements, demonstrating more than 250 percent of its logistics reliability requirement during the 2014 FOT&E. Software fixes and increased stability enabled the system to demonstrate improved mission reliability, achieving more than 130 percent of the requirement during FOT&E.

The program continues to deliver LRIP aircraft on schedule and is on track to achieve FRP rates. Quality continues to improve as non-conformance reports found during the most recent six aircraft acceptance inspections have decreased 26 percent from the first 10 aircraft delivered. Scrap, rework, and repair costs also decreased 26 percent.

P-8A Poseidon leverages the experience and technology of the P-3Cs capabilities and assets to meet the Navys needs of developing and fielding a maritime aircraft equipped with significant growth potential, including an extended global reach, greater payload capacity, higher operating altitude, and the open systems architecture. The Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) was designed around a modified Boeing 737-800ERX, bringing together a highly reliable airframe and high-bypass turbo fan jet engine with a fully connected, state-of-the-art open architecture mission system. This combination, coupled with next-generation sensors, would be expected to dramatically improve Anti-Submarine Warfare, or ASW, and Anti-Surface Warfare, or ASuW, capabilities.

MMA offers a modern, highly reliable airframe that would be equipped with an improved maritime surveillance and attack capability, allowing a smaller force to provide worldwide responsiveness while potentially on a smaller support infrastructure. The MMA was intended to ensure the Navy's future capability in long-range maritime patrol. It would be equipped with modern anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) sensors. In short, MMA was designed to be a long-range ASW, ASuW, ISR aircraft that was capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations.

MMA was designed to use state-of-the-art simulation and training systems and implement performance-based logistics concepts. It was expected to be a key component in the Navy's Sea Power 21 Sea Shield concept by providing persistent ASW, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare capabilities and would support Sea Power 21 Sea Strike doctrine through provisions of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and armament capabilities. The platform would also play a key role in the Navy's Force Net architecture via development of the common undersea picture. It was intended to replace the P-3 Orion, variants of which had been in service since November 1959 [P-3A] and August 1969 [P-3C].

The contractor for the system development and demonstration phase was the Boeing Corporation. On 14 June 2004 Boeing was awarded an over 3,889 billion dollar cost-plus-award-fee contract to develop the Navy's Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft. The aircraft procurement section of the program was estimated to be a $20 billion effort. The then total life cycle cost for 25 years of life cycle support, as well as, the aircraft is estimated to be about a $44 billion program. These numbers were FY04 dollars, not inflated to be then-year dollars.

The U.S. Navy and Boeing officially unveiled the next maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, during a rollout ceremony July 30, 2009 at Boeing's manufacturing facility in Seattle.

The United States said 26 February 2015 it had been flying its most advanced spy aircraft out of the Philippines to conduct surveillance mission over the South China Sea for three weeks. The P-8A Poseidon was deployed in the Philippines, making more than 180 flight hours over the South China Sea. 'It was a remarkable opportunity to work alongside the members of the Filipino armed forces,' said US Navy Lieutenant Matthew Pool. 'Sharing this aircraft's capabilities with our allies only strengthens our bonds,' he added. This was the first time that the aircraft was deployed from the Philippines.

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