November 8, 2007 Boeing will have five P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine test planes completed by March 2009, with full production expected to commence in 2013. One hundred and twenty nine feet long aircraft with a 117 foot wingspan, the long-awaited replacement for the P-3 Orion will be incorporated into the US Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. The Poseidon is a long-range anti-submarine plane like its predecessor, and will carry five torpedoes, four anti-ship missiles and two satellite guided bombs.

In addition to its anti-submarine capabilities, the Poseidon can be used for reconnaissance, surveillance, anti-surface warfare, shipping interdiction and intelligence gathering. It has an advanced mission system for maximum interoperability in battle space and is capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations.

The P-8A Poseidon has a cruising speed of 815 km/h and a maximum speed of 907km/h, with 30 million flight hours. Each CFM56-7 engine receives 27,300 pounds of takeoff thrust, and in flight the plane can reach a service ceiling of 12.5 km. While empty, it weighs 62 ,30kg, and it has a maximum takeoff weight of 85,370kg. The P-8 is based on Boeing’s 737-800, and is the first militarized version of that series. It features raked wingtips rather than blended winglets and six additional body fuel tanks. The US Navy has been searching for a replacement for the P-3 for roughly two decades.

Via Boeing and Seattlepi.

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