Boeing P-8A Poseidon Completes 1st-flight Test of Mission Systems

Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft T2 successfully completed the program’s first mission systems test flight on June 8 in Seattle. T2 will be used to verify integrated mission systems performance during flights in Seattle and at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

During the three-hour flight, the joint Boeing and Navy test team exercised mission computing on all five operator workstations and successfully demonstrated key systems — including acoustics, mission planning, tactical data-link, communications, electronic support measures and flight test instrumentation — for the first time.

“This successful flight moves us a step closer to getting the Poseidon and its next-generation radar and sensors into the hands of the warfighter,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. “Future flights will demonstrate the state-of-the-art systems that will provide the Navy superior performance well into the 21st century.”

T2 is one of five test aircraft that are being assembled and tested as part of the U.S. Navy System Development and Demonstration contract Boeing received in 2004. Boeing’s T1 airworthiness-test aircraft entered flight testing in October 2009 and arrived at the Navy’s Patuxent River facility in April 2010.

The Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013.

The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly the Multimission Maritime Aircraft or MMA) is a military aircraft currently being developed for the United States Navy. It is intended to conduct anti-submarine warfare, shipping interdiction, and to engage in an electronic intelligence (ELINT) role. This will involve carrying torpedoes, depth charges, AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It will also be able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. It is designed to operate in conjunction with the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle. The P-8 is being developed by Boeing’s Defense, Space, & Security division from the 737-800.

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