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.