From John Larson:
Sept. 9, 2013
I attended the VP-4 reunion this past weekend in Seattle, WA. We were scheduled to get a tour of the Boeing Redding plant where the P-8 is being assembled. Since we had such a large group, we were not allowed at the plant for security reasons.
So we had a briefing at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field. The Boeing rep was a former TACCO in VP-4. He was in VP-4 during the late 1990’s. Some of this info will be a repeat of what I put out before.
So far VP-30, VP-16, and VP-5 have P-8’s. 10 planes have been delivered and they have flown 6000hrs and 1000 operational and training sorties since Feb 2012. VP-16 will deploy to Kadena, Okinawa this coming Dec.
The Mission systems are: updated multi-mode radar (7 modes), electro optics, ESM, acoustics; can monitor 64 sonobuoys. It has self-protection = chaff and flares. It missions will be ASW, ASuW, ISR, Maritime, and C-3.
The aircraft will carry 126 sonobuoys. There are 3 launchers that can hold 10 buoys each. They are pressurized; don’t have to depressurize the plane. There are individual tubes to launch buoys too. The new sonos will be more accurate and Boeing says there is no need for a mad boom now.
There is a weapons bay aft of the wings. It can hold 5 MK-52 torpedoes. There are 4 wing stations that will hold harpoon missiles.
There is a laser under the tail that is used for protection against inbound missiles.
The airplane has two engines generators and the apu has one. It will have 150% of the power required.
The aircraft will have 9 crew members, 3 pilots, 2 nfo, and 4 aw’s. There are 21 seating positions. There are 3 inertial systems on the plane. The NAV was referred as the second TACCO.
The engines are CFM-56 engines with 27,300 lbs. of thrust. Fuel flow at 200 ft. is 5500 lbs./hr. and at 20000 ft. it will be 5200 lbs./hr. The max ceiling is 41000 ft. and low altitude is 200ft. It has a range of 1200 miles with 4 hrs. on station. Max speed is 490 kts. Flt time will be 12 hours without in-flight refueling. With refueling it will be 22 hrs., that is based on the oil consumption on the engines. The Max gross weight will be 189,200 lbs.
The Navy will get 117 aircraft. The first 37 will be delivered thru 2015. They were allocated before sequester. Each aircraft costs $126 million. Each squadron will get 6 aircraft. They will be based at Jacksonville and Whidbey Is. Kaneohe will go away and will become a detachment site. Jax will convert first.
The fuselage are built in Wichita, KS and shipped by rail to the plant at Renton, WA. The wings, engines and tail are put on there. The plane goes to Boeing Field where the systems are installed and the plane is completed.
The Indian Navy is acquiring 8 aircraft. They wanted to have a MAD boom incorporated. Boeing had to make changes to the APU in the tail to make it work.
In the future the P-8 could control UAV’s from the plane. This doesn’t apply to the Global Hawk UAV. Also there might be UAV’s that could launch from the P-8. They would unfold their wings and fly under control from the P-8. The plane has CAT 3 landing capabilities, but the Navy will not certify the plane or keep the pilots or plane current. CAT 3 allows the pilot land in very low visibility. Also the plane has in-flight refueling capability. But the Navy is not going to do that for a couple of years.
It was interesting and informative to listen to the presentation.