P-8 Launches Torpedo for the First Time

Check out this picture of the U.S. Navy’s P-8 subhunter launching a torpedo for the very first time. As you can see, the Mk 54 test torpedo was launched on Oct. 13 from the 737-based jet’s weapons bay (notice how the bay doors are open in the photo).

The test drop happened at about 500-feet above the water and was the first in a series of P-8 weapons tests meant to evaluate safe separation from the aircraft, delivery accuracy and weapon integration, according to NAVAIR.

It should be noted, that in addition to launching sonobouys and scanning the sea-surface with its APY-10 radar, the P-8 can also carry Harpoon anti-ship missiles and maybe even air-to-air missiles. (Its predecessor, the P-3 has carried, and used, Harpoon missiles, maverick air-to-ground missiles and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.)

Click here to read about Boeing’s pitch to make a modified P-8 into a giant, manned version of a hunter killer UAV.

  • mhmm…

    Are there at least sensors in that obscenely large vertical stabilizer?

    • STemplar

      Nope, extra O2 bottle though…..

    • John

      Don’t think that vertical is overlarge compared to most of the 737 family – the plane is fairly “short coupled” so it needs a little more vert than many…

    • wpnexp

      Consider that the photo angle makes the tail look bigger than it might if we were looking head on toward the plane.

  • Yep

    Whats the tail dragging? See it?

    • Riceball

      Some sort of antenna most likely.

      • michael

        Thats a ship you retards

        • michael

          lol sorry my bad i see it now

        • blight

          No, no. There’s a ship on the ocean, but a cone-shaped object dragged along the top of the tail.

          • STemplar

            SATCOM antenna.

          • flight magic

            Airliners gather aeronautics from the cone, information is sent to computers that are on board, then evaluated by Boeing and user (Navy for this) to measure air drag and other diagnostics to improve flight ops. If you see the new Dreamliner in flight you will see the same cone tailing behind, assuming somebody didn’t photo shop it out.

        • wpnexp

          I think he means the wire antenna at the rear of the tail top. Has a drag cone at the end hanging above the horizon where few ships can go. Be careful with your statements.

    • Mclovin

      Static trailing cone. It’s used to measure static air pressure well outside of the effects of the fuselage.

  • m167a1

    Really wish they had not deleted the MAD.

    • James 61

      The tail cone is different looking than on a civilian version. Could be MAD gear in that short round stub or the bulge along the bottom of the tail cone. Considering aircraft are predominantly aluminum and and other no ferrous materials I don’t see why you couldn’t enclose the MAD gear and make it less conspicuous or prone to damage on the ground.

    • wpnexp

      MAD will be accomplished by a ScanEagle UAV once the sub location has been localized by sonobouys. That allows the P-8 to remain at altutude keeping it out of short range SAMs and corrosive salt water mist. Remaining at altitude also improves the range of the P-8.

  • Tom Golder

    Nice big stabilizer back there- How about an EA-6b size reciever football and some Transmitters inside, a forty foot canoe radome would be easy to do!

  • jamesb

    Is Boeing gonna get this one right for once?

    He, he, he….

    How about a few for the Army to stuff more OFF THE SHELF Senors in?

    And NOT give up to the Air Force….

  • jamesb

    That IS a BIG Darn Vertical Stabilizer, eh?

    You guys saying that Dog can fight it’s way outta trouble air to air?

    • notjamesb

      Wait huh? Who said anything about air to air? I’m confused by you.

    • Riceball

      I’m sure that the Chinese would have you believe so considering that according to them, a P-3 (which the P-8 is replacing) could outmaneuver and cause a fighter to crash. If a prop powered bus of a plane like a P-3 can do that to something like a MiG-21 clone (I think it was a 21 clone) then this newer, jet powered bus ought to be able down one of their SU’s or maybe even their J-20’s.

  • Yep

    Navy. What carrier does it fly off of?

    • Guest

      What are you implying? The P-3 it is replacing couldn’t fly off a carrier either.

      • No, but a C-130 DID land on the Forrestal once as a test.
        All Patrol (“P” designator) aircraft since the PBY and before have either been land based or seaplanes.

  • Nadnerbus

    Looks like things are coming along on this project. Its a darn shame this wasn’t in service 15 year ago though. I believe the Navy is going to be increasingly in need of the capability this plane represents going forward. Long legs, persistent loiter time, and top of the line sensors.

    • Guest

      Indeed. I’m glad this P-8 has been scooting along without any big headaches in cost or design, even if the overall arrival of an Orion replacement is a bit belated.

      It also has huge export potential, it’s already racked up one customer (India) and could be bought by pretty much any nation that uses Orions now.

  • William C.

    Sub-hunting. Not all that glamorous, but damned important.

  • RCDC

    Ever taught of accurate multiple anti ship/boats/ sub missile torpedoes against enemy missile boats for the country’s self defense?

  • Ben

    How did we sell a P-8 to India, a customer, and not even have done torpedo trials on it yet?

    Shouldn’t P-8 torpedo trials have been done like four years ago?

  • blight

    Channeling my inner roland: Next up is seaplanes. New PBY-1?

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