The Navy’s Newest Sub-Hunter

There you have it, the U.S. Navy’s first production P-8A submarine hunter taking off on its first flight from Boeing’s plant in Seattle on March 6.

The plane flew to Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida where it will serve as a training jet, helping the sea service’s sub-hunters get used to flying in equipment that isn’t based on a 55 year-old design (oh wait, the 737 design is almost 50, but at least it’s still in production and the new versions resemble old 737 only in appearances). Anyway, the old sub-hunters I’m talking about are the venerable P-3 Orions, they entered the fleet in the 1960s and are based on the 1950s vintage Lockheed Electra airliner.

In all seriousness, the P-8 is a big leap for the Navy, the plane is going to work with UAV’s such as Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 GLobal Hawk-based Broad Area Maritime Surveillance jet to hunt down subs and probably anything else on the high seas and in the “littorals”.

Let’s hope the Navy’s first operational P-8 doesn’t have any counterfeit parts on it (couldn’t resist).

Click here to learn a little bit more about the jets.

  • mgc

    these are exactly what we need not f-35’s or -22’s.

    • blight_

      Kind of thought we needed more transports, but okay.

      We may need a transport between C-130 and C-17. We may need larger supertransports; especially if we find ourselves in more inland countries, with no stable port->fort supply routes.

  • blight_

    For example: If Iraq was landlocked but open plains, how would we occupy them?

    For example, if we invade…Kazahkstan. Decent tank country but it wouldn’t be easy to move a division of armor in.

    • Mastro

      Don’t invade them.

      Seriously- other than maybe Bolivia- we don’t have any major landlocked enemies other than Afghanistan.

    • FormerDirtDart

      The US initially “occupied” Iraq through Kuwait and Jordan

      • blight_

        And Saudi Arabia. Can’t forget the Military Cities in the desert.

        In the end our supply lines depend on sealift for the scale of supplies that modern warfare consumes. We don’t have much of a response for the hypothetical possibility that those sea routes might be contested.

        • FormerDirtDart

          I was speaking more to the 2003 invasion, which led to an occupation. The ’91 campaign did not evolve into an occupation per se. In 2003 no forces involved in the invasion and occupation came through or from Saudi Arabia.
          Plus I should correct my own omission. Despite limiting only non-military specific material to pass through its country, the occupation of Iraq was made possible with the assistance of Turkey.

  • jamesb


  • chaos0xomega

    What we need is airships… the materials/construction cost (once methods, infrastructure, and production lines are established) would be similar to current large transport aircraft, but with a capacity for several hundred tons…

    • tiger

      Well the big hanger at Lakehurst is still ready to house them if we do bring them back. Had to pave the Parking lot there about 8 years ago. Hard to picture stuff that big flying back in the day.

  • Splitpi
    P3 Ferry Range = 8,934 km
    P3 Cruise Speed = 610 km/h
    P3 Useful Load = 57,800 lbs
    P3 Fuel Capacity = ~60,000 lbs = ~8,837 Gals
    P3 Loiter Time = ~10 hrs
    P8 Range = 2,222 km
    P8 Ferry Range = ~2.50 * 2222 =5555 km = 62.2% of P3 Range
    P8 Cruise Speed = 815 km/h = 134% of P3 Speed
    P8 Useful Load = Max – Max = 189,200 – 138,300 lbs = 50,900 lbs = 88% of P3 Load
    P8 Fuel Capacity = ~6,875 Gals = 77.8% of P3
    P8 Loiter Time = 4 hours = 40% of P3
    50% fuel consumption / Loiter
    P8 = (0.5 * 6875) / 4 hrs = 859.4 Gallons / hr
    P3 = (0.5 * 8837) / 10 hrs = 441.9 Gallons / hr

    So the P8 has significantly less range and less carrying capacity than a P3, significantly less loiter time and consumes more fuel thus making it nearly twice as costly to operate on station from a fuel stand point.

    I fail to see why this is a better plane other than Avionics, which can be upgraded on either.

  • Lance

    There is NOTHING wrong with the P-3. But this plan is better looking and looks like a cool new sub hunter and a pleasure to fly in.

    • GUEST

      Apart from the fact that they are almost falling apart due to extreme old age?

    • CRWCHF01

      Guess you haven’t looked at any other pictures of the P-8. Should have a UARRSI (Universal Air Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation). Range limited by oil level and crew endurance.

  • Dan Gao

    Great plane, and it’s been a pretty smooth program as well, no huge overruns or technical SNAFUs. Glad to see them come to life.

  • Morty

    Does IRAN have subs?!

    • tiger

      Yes, But they don’t travel far from home waters.

  • jamesb

    Thanks Spiliti…..

    More $$$
    For Less!


  • I think P-8 poseidon, more faster more advanced tech to hunter sub than P-3 orion.

  • tom mccoy

    What’s that old adage about……Iron men and wooden PLANES?

  • tom343

    Is the 737 airframe going to infest everything that flies?

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  • Tom

    Perfect for locating missing airliners…..

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