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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 11:20
Boeing Delivers 15th Production P-8A Poseidon to US Navy


Aug 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company


The 15th P-8A Poseidon built by Boeing [NYSE: BA] arrives at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., where it will help expand the U.S. Navy’s long-range maritime patrol capabilities.

The aircraft, delivered on schedule July 31st, joined the other Poseidon aircraft being used to train Navy crews in preparation for deployment.

The delivery follows Patrol Squadron (VP) 16’s recent return home from the P-8A’s first operational deployment. The ‘War Eagles’ of VP-16 were deployed for seven months, operating out of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. They were recently replaced by the ‘Mad Foxes’ of Patrol Squadron (VP) 5.

Boeing is currently on contract to build and support 53 P-8A aircraft. The Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8As, which are based on the Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 platform. The versatile multi-mission aircraft provides anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and will replace the Navy P-3 fleet.

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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
photo US Navy

photo US Navy


Apr.8, 2014 by Jon Hemmerdinger - FG


Washington DC - The US Navy insists that its decision to exclude eight Boeing P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine warfare aircraft from its fiscal year 2015 budget request will not affect its plan to transition to a fleet of the type.


However, Boeing says a reduction of eight aircraft orders would likely cause P-8 unit prices to climb."There is no impact on the transition plan," says Martin Ahmad, the USN's P-8 deputy programme manager. "The transition has not changed as a result of those aircraft at all."


Ahmad made his comments at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition near Washington, DC, on 8 April.


The USN's budget proposal, which still requires Congressional approval, calls for the service to buy eight Poseidons in FY2015: down from an original plan to order 16. The service now plans acquire 109 P-8s through FY2019.


While the USN has removed the eight aircraft from its budget request, the service indicates it still wants to buy them by including eight P-8s in a list of unfunded priorities it sent to Congress in recent weeks.


The eight aircraft have "essentially been rephrased", Ahmad says, noting that the USN's requirement for P-8s remains unchanged at 117 aircraft.


But if Congress doesn't add those aircraft back into the budget, the cost of P-8s will likely increase, says Rick Heerdt, Boeing's P-8 vice-president and programme manager.


"Will there be a cost impact [with] the lower numbers? That's probably likely. We don't really know much right now," says Heerdt.


He adds, however, that the cost impact will likely be less substantial than if Boeing's production line was solely dedicated to P-8s, which are partly made on the commercial 737 production line. "The commercial production line mitigates [the impact] somewhat," he says.


The USN's budget request estimates P-8s will have unit flyway costs of nearly $271 million, including weapons systems, in FY2015.


Meanwhile, Ahmad and Heerdt describe the P-8 programme as having made great strides since the beginning of 2013, with Boeing delivering eight aircraft to the USN and the first international P-8 to India. The US service now has 13 of the type.Boeing reached initial operational capability with the P-8 in 2013, and also last year won a contract to produce 13 aircraft as part of a fourth lot of low-rate initial production.


In February 2014, the company also announced it had won its first full-rate initial production contract for the type, with an order for 16 P-8s from the USN. It also secured an order from Australia for eight aircraft, plus four options.


The USN says the new aircraft brings much more capability to its fleet of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, which has for decades been composed primarily of Lockheed P-3 Orions.


Ahmad says the service and Boeing are working on "increment two" improvements that will give P-8s the ability to conduct wide-area ASW acoustic search; a capability currently available on upgraded P-3Cs.


Increment two upgrades, which are scheduled to be introduced on aircraft in FY2016, will also allow P-8s to deploy weapons from higher altitudes and give the aircraft an automatic identification system that will identify other ships, including commercial vessels, says the USN.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Boeing to Provide Maintenance Training Devices for US Navy P-8A Poseidon



Apr 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company


    Contract includes replica components and high-fidelity simulators


Boeing [NYSE: BA] will broaden its support for the U.S. Navy's fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft through a recent order for maintenance simulators.


The Navy plans to begin using six virtual trainers, one ordnance load trainer and 14 hardware-based devices to train P-8A maintenance personnel at Naval Air Station Jacksonville starting in 2016.


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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
USA: P-8 Poseidon Performs First Missions in Korea During Foal Eagle

<< Sailors from the Republic of Korea Navy prepare to board a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft March 30 in Busan for a tour facilitated by U.S. Navy crew members assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 16. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Joshua Bryce Bruns)

01 April 2014 By MC1 Joshua Bryce Bruns - Pacific Sentinel


SEOUL - The U.S. Navy's P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft conducted its first training missions in the Republic of Korea (ROK) March 27-31 in support of exercise Foal Eagle 2014.


During the combined U.S. and ROK armed forces training events, flight crewmembers from Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 operated with P-3 Orion maritime patrol crews from the ROK navy. The exercise gave the pilots, mission planners, and flight crews from both the U.S. and ROK navies the opportunity to train together and exchange ideas and concepts.


"This was a great opportunity to strengthen relationships and show what operational capabilities this aircraft brings to the Pacific and to our allies," said Lt. Cmdr. Dwight Brungard, the P-8 mission commander. "Everyone was discussing the similarities and differences between the P-8 and the P-3 and how we can operate efficiently in the operational environment. It's so important for us to understand each other and continue to work seamlessly together."


Exercise Foal Eagle in an umbrella of regularly scheduled, annual exercises between U.S. and ROK armed forces. The naval portion of these bi-lateral exercises test skills in a variety of warfare disciplines including maritime patrol.


"We are excited to have the P-8A Poseidon performing its first missions in Korea as a part of Foal Eagle 2014," said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. "The presence of this modern and dynamic aircraft operating with our Korean counterparts further demonstrates the U.S. Navy's commitment to our alliance with the Republic of Korea and represents the physical manifestations of our rebalance to the Pacific."


The P-8A Poseidon is designed with the latest avionics and onboard systems making it one of the most advanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft in the world.


Six P-8A aircraft are currently deployed in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet conducting maritime stability, patrol, and search operations throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific.


US Pacific Fleet

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25 mars 2014 2 25 /03 /mars /2014 18:20
A P-8A Poseidon in flight. Photo US Navy

A P-8A Poseidon in flight. Photo US Navy


25 March 2014 naval-technology.com


CAE has been awarded a contract by Boeing to develop simulator hardware for six P-8A Poseidon operational flight trainers (OFT) and five P-8A aircraft equipment desktop environment (AeDTE) trainers, intended for the US Navy.


Under the contract, CAE will provide the P-8A simulators as well as a suite of AeDTE trainers, which will be used for the training of P-8A aircrews.


The company will supply the hardware, which Boeing will install and integrate with the aircraft-specific software before delivery to the US Navy.


CAE USA president and general manager Ray Duquette said: "The P-8A programme is a perfect example of the Navy's increasing use of synthetic training and we are pleased to be working with Boeing to deliver some of the high-fidelity training systems required for training P-8A aircrews."


CAE has previously been contracted by Boeing to design and manufacture hardware for ten P-8A OFTs and 17 P-8A AeDTE trainers.


The P-8A Poseidon, a derivative of the Boeing's 737 commercial aircraft, can be used to conduct long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.


The team for the P-8A Poseidon programme will be led by Boeing and include CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.


The US Navy is considering the procurement of 117 P-8A aircraft to replace its existing turbo-prop P-3 Orion fleet.

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19 février 2014 3 19 /02 /février /2014 08:20
Boeing Eyes P-8 Exports


February 11, 2014 By Bill Sweetman Source: AWIN First


“Four or five nations” are showing strong interest in the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, according to Chris Raymond, Boeing Defense, Space & Security vice president for business development and strategy.


“These are down to a technical level, not a cursory what-is-it level,” Raymond said on the eve of the Singapore air show. “They are doing analysis of range and coverage, how it would fit in their fleets, life-cycle costs.”


Two or three of the potential candidates are in the Asia-Pacific area, Raymond says. (One of the others is most likely the United Kingdom.) Not all of them currently operate fixed-wing ASW aircraft. “These are new requirements, not just replacements,” Raymond says.


In some cases, Boeing sees its new Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, based on a Bombardier Challenger 605 airframe, as being complementary to the P-8 or other ASW platforms. The company is moving towards the idea of a family of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems ranging from the P-8 through the MSA and the King Air-based Ramis (reconfigurable airborne multi-sensor system) to the Insitu ScanEagle and Integrator unmanned air systems.

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4 décembre 2013 3 04 /12 /décembre /2013 08:35
Les Etats-Unis déploient leurs nouveaux avions de surveillance à Okinawa


02.12.2013 lepopulaire.fr


La Marine américaine a déployé à Okinawa (Japon) son tout nouvel avion de surveillance et de lutte anti-sous-marine, en pleine montée de tensions après l'instauration par Pékin d'une zone aérienne d'identification, a affirmé lundi une de ses responsables.

Deux premiers P-8 Poseidon, qui avaient décollé vendredi de Floride (sud-est des Etats-Unis), sont arrivés sur la base de Kadena, située sur l'île d'Okinawa. Ils devraient être rejoints dans les jours à venir par quatre appareils supplémentaires, selon cette responsable s'exprimant sous couvert de l'anonymat.


Ce déploiement était "prévu depuis longtemps" et vise à remplacer les vieux P-3 Orion en fin de vie, selon cette responsable. Il n'est donc pas lié à l'instauration par Pékin d'une zone aérienne d'identification (ZAI) au-dessus de la mer de Chine orientale. Mais en déployant ce tout nouveau matériel, Washington renforce ses capacités dans cette zone qui couvre les îles Senkaku --Diaoyu pour la Chine-- au centre des tensions entre Tokyo et Pékin.


Le P-8 Poseidon entre à peine en service opérationnel. Construit à partir de la structure d'un Boeing 737, il dispose d'une autonomie et d'un rayon d'action accrus par rapport au P-3 et emporte torpilles et missiles anti-navires.


Le Japon, la Corée du Sud et les Etats-Unis ont chacun fait voler des avions dans la zone aérienne d'identification la semaine passée, sans en informer les Chinois, pour montrer qu'ils ne reconnaissaient pas cette ZAI chinoise, conduisant Pékin à envoyer des chasseurs à la rencontre de ces appareils.


Un porte-parole du Pentagone, le colonel Steven Warren, a toutefois noté lundi que la réaction des autorités chinoises aux vols américains dans la zone restait habituelle et "normale", plaidant que les vols américains se poursuivaient comme de coutume.


De nombreux experts estiment que la ZAI s'inscrit dans une démarche chinoise visant à affirmer peu à peu son rang de superpuissance politique, diplomatique et militaire, face à Washington qui, dans le cadre de sa stratégie dite de "pivot" vers l'Asie, entend renforcer ses moyens militaires dans le Pacifique.


Le vice-président américain Joe Biden est arrivé lundi à Tokyo, première étape d'une tournée qui le conduira ensuite en Chine et en Corée du Sud et qui risque d'être dominée par les tensions provoquées par la ZAI.

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
Boeing delivers maritime patrol aircraft to India


SEATTLE, Nov. 18 (UPI)


Boeing reports it has delivered the second of eight P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft ordered by India.


The aircraft, the Indian Navy variant of the P-8A Poseidon being developed for the U.S. Navy, will now undergo flight trials in India, the company said.


"With two aircraft at Naval Station Rajali now, the Indian Navy will get a good feel for the P-8I's interoperability with other aircraft," said Leland Wight, Boeing P-8I program manager. "Acceptance trials on the first aircraft are progressing well and its availability for testing has been excellent, in large part due to Boeing's worldwide 737 support capabilities."


The P-8 platform is based on Boeing's 737 commercial aircraft and is assembled using the 737 in-line production process. It features open system architecture, advanced sensor and display technologies. Boeing partners in its production include CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.


Boeing said the first P-8I, delivered to the Indian Navy in May, recently completed testing of its weapons capabilities.

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4 novembre 2013 1 04 /11 /novembre /2013 06:20
Boeing Delivers 12th Production P-8A Poseidon Aircraft to US Navy


Oct 31, 2013 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company


Boeing delivered the 12th production P-8A Poseidon on schedule on Oct. 25, enhancing the long-range maritime patrol capabilities of the U.S. Navy.


The P-8A departed Boeing Field in Seattle for Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., where it joined the other Poseidon aircraft being used to train Navy crews. The aircraft is the sixth from the second low-rate initial production contract lot awarded in November 2011.


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1 octobre 2013 2 01 /10 /octobre /2013 07:20
Exelis to provide sonobuoy launchers, carriage and release systems for P-8A Poseidon aircraft

Sep 30, 2013 ASDNews Source : Exelis


Exelis (NYSE: XLS) has completed negotiations for two production contracts from Boeing Co. to supply sonobuoy launchers and carriage and release systems for the U.S. Navy’s P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft.


Exelis will supply systems that will include rotary, single-shot sonobuoy pneumatic launchers and pneumatic carriage and release equipment. The Exelis-designed Sonobuoy Launching System (SLS) is planned to provide aircrews with a high-performance airborne launching capability.


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3 octobre 2012 3 03 /10 /octobre /2012 17:15

MK-54 torpedo-test-03-2012


October 2, 2012 By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. – aol.defense


The Navy's jet-powered P-8 Poseidon patrol plane boasts plenty of advances over the P-3 Orion turboprops it will replace, but for the sensor operators the favorite feature will be very basic: They won't throw up as much.

The P-3's notoriously rough ride at low altitudes and the gunpowder-like stench from the launch tube shooting sonar buoys out the back meant that, "typically, every mission or two you'd have somebody get sick [and] start throwing up into their air sickness bag," said Navy Captain Aaron Rondeau, a P-3 veteran who now runs the P-8 program. "We haven't seen that much with the P-8."

With its more modern and less rigid wing, "it's a much smoother ride than the P-3," Rondeau explained, and the buoys are now launched by compressed air, without the old system's stink. And that just means, he said, that "If your aircrews aren't sticking their heads in barf bags, they can do their missions better."

Not everyone really cares whether the operators barf in the back and believe in the P-8's higher-altitude approach. "I don't think it will work as well," noted naval expert Norman Polmar said bluntly. "It's rather controversial."

In particular, after some waffling back and forth, the Navy decided to leave off a sensor called the Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD), which can detect the metal hulls of submarines -- if the plane flies low enough. MAD was crucial to the P-3's traditional low-altitude tactics. Significantly, the P-8 variant that  Boeing is building for the Indian Navy will still have it; only the US Navy P-8 will not. Both Rondeau and Boeing argue that the P-8 can more than compensate with more sophisticated sensors and by using its superior computing power to interpret their data.

So with the P-8, the Navy is not just replacing a sixties-vintage propeller plane with a more modern jet, derived from the widely used Boeing 737. It's also betting on new technology to enable a high-altitude approach to both long-range reconnaissance and hunting hostile submarines.

Traditional "maritime patrol aircraft" like the P-3 spend part of their time at high altitude but regularly swoop down, sometimes as low as 200 feet above the waves, to drop sonar buoys, scan for subs with the magnetic anomaly detector, launch torpedoes, and simply eyeball unidentified vessels on the surface. But jets like the P-8 are significantly less fuel-efficient at low altitudes than turboprops like the P-3.

"There's a misconception," said Rondeau. "Some people think that that means P-8 can't do low-altitude anti-submarine warfare [ASW]. We can, and it's very effective down low, [but] we will eventually get to the point where we stay at higher altitudes."

For some of the new sub-hunting technologies, Rondeau argued, going higher actually gives you a better look. Today, for example, one key tool is a kind of air-dropped buoy that hits the water and then explodes, sending out a powerful pulse of sound that travels a long way through the water and reflects off the hulls of submarines, creating sonar signals that other, listening-device buoys then pick up. (The technical name is Improved Extended Echo Ranging, or IEER). Obviously, an explosive buoy can only be used once, and the sonar signal its detonation generates is not precisely calibrated. So the Navy is developing a new kind of buoy called MAC (Multistatic Active Coherent), which generates sound electronically, allowing it to emit multiple, precise pulses before its battery runs down.

"It will last longer and you're able to do more things with it," Rondeau said. And because a field of MAC buoys can cover a wider search area, he said, "we need to stay up high... to be able to receive data from all these buoys and control all these buoys at the same time."

An early version of MAC will go on P-3s next year and on P-8s in 2014, but only the P-8 will get the fully featured version, as part of a suite of upgrades scheduled for 2017. The Navy is deliberately going slow with the new technology. Early P-8s will feature systems already proven on the P-3 fleet and will then be upgraded incrementally. The P-8 airframe itself is simply a militarized Boeing 737, with a modified wing, fewer windows, a bomb-bay, weapons racks on the wings, and a beefed-up structure.

This low-risk approach earned rare words of praise from the Government Accountability Office, normally quick to criticize Pentagon programs for technological overreach. "The P-8A," GAO wrote, "entered production in August 2010 with mature technologies, a stable design, and proven production processes." (There have been issues with counterfeit parts from China, however).

"We had to have this airplane on time," Rondeau said: The P-3s were getting so old, and their hulls are so badly metal-fatigued, that they were all too often grounded for repairs.

So far, Boeing has delivered three P-8As to the training squadron in Jacksonville, Florida. They were preceeded by eight test aircraft, some of which have just returned from an anti-submarine exerise out of Guam. The first operational deployment will come in December 2013, to an unspecified location in the Western Pacific. There the Navy will get to test its new sub-seeking techniques against the growing and increasingly effective Chinese underwater force.

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29 décembre 2011 4 29 /12 /décembre /2011 08:00
Airborne Platforms Bolster Ocean Patrol

Photo: Boeing


Dec 28, 2011 By David Eshel - defense technology international


Tel Aviv - Regional threats to stability, growing tension over the exploitation of natural resources in economic exclusion zones (EEZ), the impact of piracy and terrorism, and criminal activities in the littorals are among factors driving demand for advanced airborne maritime surveillance assets.


Maritime surveillance is one of the fastest-growing defense markets, with countries seeking a range of technologies to improve their ability to monitor traffic in territorial waters and secure ports and other shore facilities from threats. For naval forces, airborne assets are needed to track and warn of submarine activities and protect disputed territories. Strong and effective surveillance is also a key component in assembling international coalitions for stability operations and in fighting piracy.


Effective and far-reaching maritime monitoring is a priority in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. In the eastern Mediterranean, deep-sea drilling has yielded major deposits of oil and natural gas off Israel and Cyprus, and shown the importance of defending offshore rigs (DTI November, p. 22). In Asia the dramatic growth of the Chinese navy has increased tension with countries such as India over energy sources and territorial claims, and led to a surge in submarine fleets, and with it demand for maritime patrol and antisubmarine-warfare (ASW) aircraft.


The Lockheed P-3 Orion has compiled a decades-long record of maritime patrol, and is in use with the U.S. Navy and other maritime forces around the world. Modernization programs have kept the iconic aircraft relevant in a rapidly changing world of evolving threats and capabilities. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) was awarded two contracts worth $37 million to integrate the EL/M-2022A surveillance radar, developed by IAI and its Elta subsidiary, onto P-3s. The contracts were awarded by two undisclosed militaries that are upgrading their patrol aircraft. The radar sets were tailored to fit in the nose and tail. One forward-looking antenna will provide 240-deg. coverage and two additional antennas will provide 360-deg. coverage.


The EL/M-2022A is an advanced, multimode surveillance system incorporating synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and inverse SAR 3-D technology, as well as expertise gained by missions conducted by the Israeli military. EL/M-2022A can be deployed on maritime aircraft in support of ASW, EEZ patrols, coastal defense, drug smuggling and fisheries patrols, and search-and-rescue missions. The radar’s modular architecture permits integration onto rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). It has a high degree of commonality with Elta’s EL/M-2032 fire-control radar. Excluding the operator’s console, EL/M-2022A hardware weighs less than 100 kg (220 lb.).


A patrol aircraft developed by Boeing, the P-8 Poseidon, will replace the U.S. Navy’s remaining P-3Cs. The P-8A is a long-range multi-mission platform. It has an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in battlespace. According to Boeing, all sensors on board contribute to a single fused tactical situation display, which is shared over military standard and Internet Protocol data links, allowing for seamless delivery of information among U.S. and coalition forces.


After several years of debate, the Navy decided to replace its specialized versions of P-3 reconnaissance aircraft with UAVs by the end of the decade. Northrop Grumman is team leader and prime contractor for the MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV. The high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) platform is based on the Global Hawk, and designed to cruise at 60,000 ft. Unlike Global Hawk, which flies only at high altitude, MQ-4C is required to descend to lower altitude to get a closer view of suspected targets. To fly safely with manned and unmanned aircraft, the MQ-4C will be equipped with sense-and-avoid radar, which alerts an operator to air traffic in its vicinity. The MQ-4C will have 36-hr. endurance and operate at 60,000 ft., avoiding strong winds and severe weather. The payload is 3,200 lb. The UAV will have 2-D advanced, electronically scanned array radar for 360-deg. coverage of vast sections of ocean.


Another UAV for maritime use, Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8B Fire Scout, a vertical-takeoff-and-landing rotorcraft, accommodates a variety of sensors. It was deployed for the first time aboard the USS McInerney.


The P-8A and BAMS programs are in their advanced stages. Last January, Boeing received a $1.6 billion contract for low-rate initial production of the first six aircraft. Initial operational capability is slated for 2013. In 2008, the Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $1.16 billion System Development and Demonstration contract for BAMS.


The P-8A/MQ-4C duo already provides a role model for Asia-Pacific nations that are challenged with covering vast ocean areas from shore bases. The Royal Australian Air Force, currently operating 18 Lockheed AP-3Cs, has expressed interest in the P-8A and its HALE component. As part of Project Air 7000 Phase 1, Canberra is expected to buy eight P-8As to replace its 18 AP-3Cs. The P-8A aircraft will be augmented by seven UAVs to fulfill the remaining roles. Australia completed the last upgrade of its AP-3Cs in 2005, which included the installation of an Elta’s EL/M-2022(V)3 maritime surveillance radar and a FLIR Systems Star Safire II thermal imager.


Israel is investing in its maritime surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to protect new finds in offshore oil and gas deposits, which have become a security priority for coming years. One segment that will likely get much attention is enhancing unmanned maritime surveillance in the eastern Mediterranean, to guard the gas and oil drilling platforms being moved within Israel’s vulnerable EEZ and in other areas.


Eli Gambash, marketing manager for IAI’s Malat division, says the company’s Heron-1 and Heron-TP UAVs, equipped with the new EL/M-2022 inverse SAR and automatic identification system, are ideal for maritime surveillance, coastal protection and antipiracy missions. The Heron-TP has also been tested with SAR for maritime surveillance, with the antenna stored in a belly fairing. “The Heron-1 with Elta radar covers a 400-nm. radius and identifies objects amid the clutter of the sea with enormous precision,” says Gambash, a captain in Israel’s naval reserve. “With the Heron you can remain in a certain place, completely passive, yet be in full situational control.”


India is rapidly expanding maritime surveillance, targeting and ASW capabilities with acquisitions of advanced systems. The country is a pioneer in the use of unmanned systems for surveillance. Its navy has been operating Israeli Searcher II and Heron I UAVs for years—Searchers carry EL/M-2022U lightweight maritime surveillance radar, and Herons are equipped with a suite of sensors, including radar, electro-optic payloads, sigint, comint and electronic support measures sensors, and line-of-sight or satellite data links. Israel is believed to have offered the newer Heron-TP to India to augment current UAVs.


India is also embarking on two maritime patrol programs to upgrade the littoral surveillance capabilities of the navy and coast guard. New Delhi is evaluating a potential buy of six aircraft, as part of the navy’s Medium-Range Maritime Reconnaissance program. These aircraft would cover 500 nm., flying 6 hr. on station, and replace the navy’s Dornier Do-228 aircraft, currently used for littoral surveillance.


A similar platform is being considered to replace the coast guard’s Britten-Norman BN-2B Islanders.


A third program in the planning stage seeks nine amphibious aircraft for surveillance over territorial waters in the Andaman Sea. The platforms likely to meet the requirement are the CASA/IPTN CN235MP—produced and supported in Indonesia—and the Saab 2000 MPA. The latter will be offered with advanced AESA radar from Selex, addressing what Saab considers a new Indian requirement. The plane will be fitted to carry RBS-15 antiship missiles, manufactured by Saab Bofors Dynamics. Optional weapons include the Boeing Harpoon missiles India is buying for the P-8I, the Indian version of the P-8A aircraft.

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21 octobre 2011 5 21 /10 /octobre /2011 07:50



10/20/2011  Defence Review Asia - defenceiq.com


The Cold War years pitted submarine forces of the United States and the Soviet Union against one another and spurned the development of sophisticated Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft to counter the undersea threat.
Vast expanses of the Indian and Pacific Oceans provided ideal submarine operating grounds and the Asia-Pacific region played an important part in the battle plans of both American and Soviet Navies.
Since the end of the Cold War the diminished submarine threat has evolved the role of Maritime Patrol Aircraft to focus more on Maritime Surveillance of crucial shipping lanes, border protection and fisheries patrol.

Several regional conflicts and the increase of terrorism and pirate-related activities has seen a proliferation of MPA assets, ranging from the top-of-the-range Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft to the relatively cheap to operate littoral surveillance platforms used by Coastguards and quasi-military organisations.


Arguably the most prolific MPA in the region is the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion, with no fewer than seven countries flying versions of the type. Several countries have either recently upgraded them, or have acquired second-hand aircraft which have been upgraded before delivery and there is an ongoing market for this work.

Boeing sees the737-based P-8 Poseidon Multi-Role Maritime Surveillance aircraft as the natural successor to the P-3 and India has become the first export customer for the aircraft to replace its existing fleet of ex-Soviet types. Australia also has a requirement to partially replace its upgraded AP-3C aircraft.
There is a growing market for a so-called second-tier platform, particularly among countries that need to safeguard their coastline and maritime approaches, but do not have the requirement to patrol vast stretches of open ocean. Typical of these are the ATR-42 Surveyor MP and the Airbus Military CN235MP Persuader. Locally, Indonesian Aerospace (PTDI) manufactures a variant of the CN235MPA to fulfil its own requirements and has also enjoyed some export success.

At the lighter end of the market, the Dornier/RUAG Do228 has enjoyed some success, alongside aircraft such as Hawker Beechcraft’s King Air 200T and Airbus Military C212 Aviocar. Unmanned platforms, such as Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Global Hawk are also set to proliferate.

Setting aside deployed US assets; the following is a brief overview of Maritime Patrol Aircraft activity in the region.


Australia has a fleet of 18 AP-3C Orions, which have maintained a continuous deployment to the Middle East since 2003. This has seen the mission set evolve from traditional Maritime Patrol to the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and has even added an overland surveillance role. They are subject to further upgrade, ensuring viability until replacement by both manned and unmanned platforms over the next decade.

In a similar manner to the US Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance project, the AP-3C will be replaced by the P-8A Poseidon and a High Altitude Long Endurance unmanned platform later in the decade.

In addition, the civilian Coastwatch organization has a fleet of Bombardier DHC-8-200 patrol aircraft in support of Australian Customs and border protection agencies.
Having previously held discussions with Indonesia over the purchase of CN235MPA or NC212 aircraft, the Bangladesh Navy announced in June that it would purchase two RUAG Do228NG (New Generation) aircraft.
The first fixed-wing aircraft to be operated by the Bangladesh Navy, the two specially-equipped aircraft will be used for maritime air patrol and search and rescue missions. Deliveries will begin in 2013.
The oil-rich state of Brunei currently uses three Indonesian-built CN235-110MP aircraft to fulfil its maritime surveillance requirements.
The 2011 Defence White Paper flags Brunei’s desire to enhance this capability, saying it wishes to ‘develop a comprehensive recognised Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance picture’, as one of its priorities. Local press reports suggest further MP aircraft, with a more extensive sensor suite, will be purchased as a priority.


Although historically not a major user of Maritime Patrol aircraft, the emerging ambitions of China to become a global naval power will see capability increase dramatically over the next few years.
China is set to join the exclusive ranks of nations able to project air power off the decks of aircraft carriers and has a fast-growing submarine fleet which need protecting.
The country has operated a small fleet of Shaanxi Industry Corporation Y-8MPA aircraft since 1984. The aircraft is a development of the transport Y-8, itself a locally-built variant of the Russian Antonov An-12 and equipped with western surface surveillance radar.
China is embracing UAV technology and is known to be developing a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) platform. It has also displayed CG imagery of one such vehicle detecting and engaging a US Carrier Battle Group at the recent Zhuhai Airshow.
Over recent years the Indian Navy has relied upon the Ilyushin IL-38 ‘May’ and the mighty Tupelov Tu-142 ‘Bear’ for its Maritime Patrol capability. The Il-38s were reportedly upgraded to IL-38SD configuration with the Russian ‘Sea Dragon’ Multi-Mission Avionics and EW suite a few years ago but twelve Boeing P-8I Poseidons are on order, for delivery from 2013.
A version of the baseline US Navy P-8A, the aircraft represent the first purchase of an American combat aircraft in India’s history and the first export order.
The Indian Navy and Coastguard operate the Pilatus-Britten Norman BN-2B Islander and locally-assembled Do228 for littoral surveillance, and both will be replaced by a second-tier MPA system. Airbus Military are offering the CN235MP, whilst SAAB has proposed an AESA-equipped version of its SAAB 2000 MPA. Other companies are expected to bid when a formal competition begins in the next year or two.
India is also a proponent of unmanned surveillance, particularly in the wake of the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks and has a mix of IAI Searcher and Heron UAVs for coastal patrols.
Maritime surveillance of the huge Indonesian archipelago is divided between the TNI-AU (Air Force) and TNI-AL (Navy) and both services are in the process of receiving locally-built CN235-200MPAs to fulfil future requirements.
Three Boeing 737-2X9 Surveiller aircraft were delivered to the Air Force in 1982, equipped with a Side-Looking Airborne Modular Multi-Role Radar (SLAMMR) and a single CN235MPA was delivered in 2009.
Three similar CN235-220MPAs were ordered for the Navy in December 2009 to augment three local conversions of the NC212-200MPA, the last of which was delivered in 2007. The three aircraft represent half of the planned capability required to fulfil the Indonesian Government’s Maritime Essential Force concept, and up to 16 may be acquired over the next decade.
Japan flew the first prototype of its indigenous Kawasaki Heavy Industries XP-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft in September 2007 and plans to acquire 65 aircraft for the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force.
The turbofan-powered P-1 will ultimately replace Japan’s fleet of 100 (largely) KHI-built P-3C Orions acquired from 1981.
The JMSDF also operates a squadron of ShinMaywa US-2 four-engined amphibians for coastal search and rescue duties.
The Japanese Maritime Safety Agency (Coastguard) has a mixed fleet of Hawker Beechcraft King Air 200Ts, SAAB 340s and NAMC YS-11s on fisheries and border patrol and anti-pollution flights around Japan’s maritime areas of interest. 
The Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) has a small fleet of Hawker Beechcraft 200Ts for maritime patrol, with a requirement to acquire a new capability during the next few years. Press reports in 2009 suggested Malaysia would sign an agreement with Indonesia for four CN235-200MPAs, but there has been no official announcement of such a deal by either Government.
Malaysia’s proximity to some of the worlds’ busiest sea lanes, in particular the Straits of Malacca was a catalyst behind the formation of the Air Wing of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. Two Bombardier CL-415 amphibians were acquired in 2009 and converted to Maritime Patrol configuration with the installation of a Side Looking Infra Red Radar, an EO/IR turret and observation windows. The two CL-415MPs operate alongside a small fleet of helicopters in Malaysia’s territorial waters.
Myanmar received a gift of two Pilatus Britten Norman BN-2B Defenders from the Indian Navy in 2006 and a further pair was transferred the following year. Indian press reports at the time foreshadowed the possibility of further deliveries, but it is not known if this has, or will, occur.
India had flown the aircraft in the Maritime Patrol role but local sources suggest the aircraft were stripped of role-specific equipment before delivery.
New Zealand
Six P-3K Orions are flown by the Royal New Zealand Air Force and are currently in the process of a major senor and systems upgrade. In the late 1990s they became the first P-3s to undergo a re-wing programme, extending their operational life until 2025.
The first upgraded aircraft, now designated P-3K2, arrived in New Zealand in April after being converted by L-3 Systems in the United States. The remaining aircraft are being upgraded by Safe Air NZ at Woodbourne and the largely Off-The-Shelf sensors and systems will provide enhanced ISR capability.
The country also has a requirement for a second tier MPA, to shoulder much of the fisheries patrol and border protection work. The 2010 Defence White Paper proposes a future force structure which will include a short-range MPA, which will also have a transport and pilot training capability. It also flags a P-3K2 replacement, to be studied sometime after 2015.

The Pakistani Navy first ordered the Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion in 1992, to replace a small force of Aerospatiale Atlantics, but these were embargoed by the US Government until 1996.
A second batch of eight ex-US Navy aircraft were acquired through a Foreign Military Sales deal in 2005. Seven are being upgraded by Lockheed Martin prior to delivery and the first was delivered to Karachi in January 2007 to join the two survivors of the first batch. Deliveries are to be completed in 2012.
Two P-3Cs were destroyed in the recent terrorist attack on PNS Mehran near Karachi, which is also home base to five Fokker F.27-200 Maritime aircraft.
Four Fokker F.27 Maritime aircraft were delivered to the Philippine Air Force in 1982 but it is thought only two are currently active. The Navy also has a small fleet of BN-2A Defenders and at least one has recently been upgraded with modern navigations and communications systems.
President Benigno Aquino announced an Air Force modernisation package in July last year, which included a single ‘long-range maritime patrol aircraft’ of an undisclosed type.
The island state of Singapore maintains a modern and well equipped defence force which, in technical terms, is second to none in the region.
Maritime patrol is currently provided by a squadron of five Fokker 50 Enforcers, but the Republic of Singapore Air Force has reportedly expressed recent interest in acquiring several ex-US Navy P-3Cs. Boeing naturally sees Singapore as a future P-8A customer when it comes time to replace the Fokker 50s.
Singapore deployed a Fokker 50MPA to Djibouti in April, as part of the multinational Task Force 151 charged with counter-piracy duties in the Gulf of Aden.

South Korea
The Republic of Korea Navy received the first of eight P-3C Orions in 1995 and has recently begun taking delivery of a like number of P-3CKs. The P-3CKs are ex-USN P-3Bs upgraded by Korean Aerospace Industries and L-3 Communications, first ordered in 2002 but delayed by systems integration problems.
The first three were handed over at Pohang in March 2010.
In January 2009, Indonesian Aersospace announced it would supply four CN235-110MP aircraft to the South Korean Coastguard by 2012.
South Korea has also expressed a desire to acquire the Global Hawk HALE UAV for surveillance operations but is yet to gain US approval for any FMS sale.
Taiwan is also in the process of requiring refurbished ex-USN P-3s to update its maritime patrol capabilities.
Plans to acquire twelve P-3Cs were announced in late 2004, but the deal was repeatedly frustrated by wrangling between the two Governments. Taiwan originally wanted to refurbish eight of the aircraft locally, but an agreement was finally reached in 2009 for all work to be carried out in the United States.
The first aircraft was inducted into Lockheed Martin’s Maritime Systems and Sensors Tactical Systems facility in St Paul Minnesota in January 2010 and the final aircraft is expected to begin refurbishment in 2013.
The Republic of China Navy currently operates around twenty turboprop Grumman S-2T Trackers.

The Royal Thai Navy flies a mixed maritime patrol fleet of three F.27-200ME Maritime Enforcers, seven Dornier Do228-212s, two Bombardier CL-215s and two P-3T Orions, the latter supported by a UP-3T trainer.
The service has also flown a number of piston-engined S-2F Trackers over the years, but it is not known if any of these remain in service today.

Vietnam took delivery of the first of three Airbus Military C212-400MPAs in August and a second will arrive by the end of the year. The last aircraft will follow in 2012.
Equipped with the Swedish Space Corporation MSS 6000 SLAR, they will be used for maritime patrol, coastal surveillance, fisheries patrol and anti-drug trafficking operations.
Four Soviet-era Beriev Be-12 flying boats have been flown on Anti-Submarine Warfare duties since 1981, but it is not known if these are still serviceable.
In 2005 an order for twelve PZL-Mielec M-28 Skytrucks was announced, but only two were delivered. Plans to fit these with a maritime patrol sensor suite were seemingly abandoned after one aircraft crashed shortly after delivery.
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