More capability coming to P-8A aircraft
Addition of sixth crew workstation to increase mission effectiveness and versatility
August 15, 2019
On any given day, a P-8A Poseidon crew can be searching for submarines, monitoring surface ships, or participating in search and rescue operations around the globe. The ability to perform such versatile missions is due largely to the mission crew workstations on board the aircraft.
P-8A aircraft currently are delivered with five workstations, all composed of state-of-the-art dual monitors (including a touch screen) that can collect and report on data from sensors, sonobuoys, radar and an electro-optical/infrared camera.
These powerful data-crunching systems can support all of the various crew roles so that any station can serve any purpose as required to meet the mission.
That already makes the P-8A a formidable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, program leaders said. Now it will become even more capable.
Thanks to recently awarded contracts totaling $34.5 million, Boeing will provide the equipment and kits to add a sixth mission crew workstation to previously delivered U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Air Force P-8As, a total of 60 aircraft.
The addition will expand crew size from five active operators to six, increasing mission capability and versatility.
According to Fred Bruner, P-8 program manager, more operators means more functions can be performed, more functions means more data collected, and more data means increased mission effectiveness.
The retrofit also brings existing fleet aircraft up to the same crew configuration as on recent production aircraft, including the four aircraft to be delivered to the New Zealand Air Force, which already include a sixth workstation.
“Our ability to continue to enhance the P-8’s capabilities is really a reflection of our commitment to give our customers the product they need, when they need it” Bruner said.
“By using this kind of evolutionary approach, we’ve been able to get the aircraft out there, performing at an incredibly high level, and now will add even more capability to support missions around the world.”