P-8A Poseidon Makes Its RIMPAC Exercise Debut

 

For the 23rd edition of the Biennial exercise, the P-8A Poseidon jet made its RIM of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise debut flown by two air crews from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay. The P-8A Poseidon jet is a replacement maritime patrol aircraft for the P-3C Orion.

The Poseidon will replace the P-3C Orion as a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. It will maximize the experience and technology of the Orion but with significant growth potential, greater payload capacity, advanced mission systems, software and communications. Six additional fuel tanks in P-8As allow for the jet’s extended range. “I had the opportunity to personally observe its great potential during a flight where the crew demonstrated each weapon system while we conducted ASW and ISR.” said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Pacific Fleet commander who flew a mission with VX-1 earlier in the week.

“While the P-3C Orion is a very forgiving aircraft and has served the fleet very well, the P-8A Poseidon is easier to fly, trims well, and handles flawlessly [at low altitude],” said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Artis, VX-1 maintenance officer and integrated training team pilot. “It’s easy to maneuver, and the situational awareness in the cockpit is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Getting used to the technology and the different displays can be a challenge, but overall it’s fun to fly.

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971. 22 nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, over 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in the RIMPAC exercise from June 29 to August 3 in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

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