Boeing Co. engineers are being asked to make some enhancements to the Navy’s P-8A Poseidon Patrol Aircraft’s
digital signal processing system. This aircraft is the military’s version of the Boeing 737 jetliner. The upgrade is being requested by the US Navy Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and is under the terms of a $68.7 million contract. The Defense, Space & Security segment of Boeing
is also being asked to improve the P-8A’S acoustic subsystem, which is the main component in operating the aircraft’s ASW functionality.
The Navy is asking Boeing for P-8A increment 3 block 2 acoustics subsystem capability enhancements, which include some software and system updates, technical support, management, defect correction, obsolescence mitigation and modernization. The goal of this update request is to initiate an open-systems approach in which the existing systems collaborate with and support future capability integration systems.
The Navy’s P-8A Aircraft Boeing-built acoustics subsystem includes previous updates. One of the previous updates to the system was the Multistatic Active Coherent Capability (MAC) which uses the SSQ-125 sonobuoy
. The SSQ-125 sonobuoy generates sounds electronically as opposed to using explosive charges. It intercepts submarine sonar echoes and replays them to the P-8A aircraft’s system. This way of operating and generating sound is significantly more accurate than the former, resulting in fewer false returns.
Another upgrade that was previously initiated for the P-8A Aircraft is the Automatic Information System and the High-Altitude ASW Weapon (HAAWC) system. This is a flying torpedo that is designed for release from high altitudes to suddenly enter the water in near proximity to enemy submarines in very little time. The HAAWC includes a GPS system
, a data link and a Boeing-built wing kit. This enables the Navy’s P-8A Aircraft to have a wide range and maintain a large search area. It also enables increased standoff ranges from threats. There is a GPS satellite navigation capability included on the sonobuoys that are deployed by the P-8A aircrafts as well. This is to enables the Navy’s P-8A Patrol Aircraft the ability to maintain a precise plot of the suonobuoy field. They can reach altitude of 10,000 feet or higher.
In conclusion, the Navy’s P-8A Aircraft system capabilities are numerous. The goal is to develop and deploy new functions and capabilities quickly as they are generated, as opposed to delaying delivery for the purpose of presenting them all together. These updates will stay within the current size, weight, power and cooling margins of the P-8A aircraft. ASAP Aerospace is
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