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?

  • 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

            I forgive you.

        • blight

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

        • 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?

  • Yep

    Navy. What carrier does it fly off of?

  • 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.

  • 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?

    • wpnexp

      P-8s weren’t even flying 4 years ago. P-8 development has gone rather smoothly and realitives fast. Since it is a proven airframe, most of the work involves sensors, and other avionics.

  • blight

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

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