Tag Archives: P-8A Poseidon

Meanwhile, the 100th Posiedon has arrived

 

169347 Boeing P-8A Poseidon of USN VP-30 June 13 2019 Eger

BuNo 169347 Boeing P-8A Poseidon of USN VP-30, June 13, 2019, climbs over Biloxi Beach, Mississippi, outbound from Gulfport. Photo by Chris Eger

From NAVAIR:

The Navy’s 100th P-8A “Poseidon” was delivered to Patrol Squadron (VP) 30 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, May 14.

In July 2004, the Navy placed its initial order of P-8A aircraft to replace the venerable Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion, which has been in service since 1962. The Maritime Patrol community began the transition to the P-8A in 2012. The delivery of the 100th P-8A coincides with VP-40’s successful completion of the 12th and final active component squadron transition to the Poseidon.

The final transition concluded amidst a global pandemic, which could have halted or delayed the schedule, however, VP-40 remained on track.

“We finished up VP-40’s transition this month, and it has been a challenge. Despite the travel restrictions, the additional required procedures, and the aircraft transfers, VP-30 answered the call. The VP-30.1 detachment at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington was grinding every day to keep the transition on schedule,“ said VP-30 Commanding Officer Capt. T. J. Grady.

More here.

Coming in hot

ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 29, 2020) A P-8A Poseidon aircraft assigned to the “Skinny Dragons” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 flies alongside the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) during a photo exercise, March 29, 2020.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Juan Sua/Released) 200329-N-CR843-0264 

Formed in 1943, VP-4 is currently forward deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations and is assigned to Commander, Task Force 67, responsible for tactical control of deployed maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadrons throughout Europe and Africa.

After cutting their teeth flying the PV-1 Ventura/PV-2 Harpoon during WWII, the Dragons switched to the P2V-1 Neptune in 1947 then the P-3 Orion in 1966. VP-4 become the first squadron at NAS Whidbey Island to covert to the P-8 Poseidon in October 2016.

Hail, Poseidon

While kayaking around the Mississippi Sound a couple weeks back, I spotted this beauty in the sky, climbing out over Ship Island from Gulfport, and managed to get a snap.

169347 Boeing P-8A Poseidon of USN VP-30 June 13 2019 Eger

While it has the profile of a Boeing 737 airliner, the U.S. Navy markings and underwing hardpoints quickly make it clear this bad boy is, in fact, a P-8A Poseidon sub buster. Specifically, it is Bu.No.169347 which was only delivered by Boeing’s Renton facility (as MSN 63197) to Uncle in June 2018. She is assigned to Patrol Squadron Thirty (VP-30), the “Pro’s Nest,” out of Jax, the Fleet Replacement Squadron for the P-8 program.

If the lifespan of the preceding P-3 Orion is any benchmark, #347 will likely still be around in the 2050s.

Harpoons and Perrys off Kauai

The recent RIMPAC 2018 exercise saw two notable sinkex operations, the first, the old LST USS Racine we have covered already.

The second, the decommissioned OHP-class frigate USS McClusky (FFG 41), was sent to on 19 July to the bottom of waters some 15,000 feet deep, 55 nautical miles north of Kauai.

Her sad, final plunge:

One of the youngest of her class, ex-McClusky was an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate commissioned in December 1983 and decommissioned in January 2015. The ship was named for Lt. Cmdr. Wade McClusky, a naval aviator who led his squadrons of Douglass Dauntless dive bombers against a Japanese fleet during the famed attack on the island of Midway in June 1942. He went on to distinguish himself in subsequent actions during the war and again in the Korean War before retiring at the rank of rear admiral in 1956. The ship operated worldwide during her more than 30 years of service. During one deployment in 2002, her crew successfully intercepted a drug runner at sea hauling 75 bales of cocaine weighing nearly 4,000 pounds.

Notably, the first use of a sub-Harpoon in a generation was seen during the exercise when Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN-717) loaded one of these unicorns and let it fly towards Racine.

The periscope footage, 30 secs:

Loading B-roll, 5 minutes:

30-sec compilation including the hit on Racine’s forward third:

In the end, though, there was one FFG-7 class vessel present at RIMPAC that had a better go of things. The Royal Australian Navy guided-missile frigate HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) participated on the other side of the gun line and on 2 August set sail back to Oz, intact.

If you are a fan of the USS Racine, you probably shouldn’t watch this footage

Live fire from aircraft, a submarine, and land assets participating in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise sank the long-decommissioned ex-USS Racine (LST-1191) on 12 July in the Pacific Ocean. Ex-Racine was sent to the bottom at the end by aircraft from Strike Fighter Squadron 192 (VFA-192) at 8:45 p.m. in waters 15,000 feet deep, 55 nautical miles north of Kauaʻi, Hawaii.

The SINKEX featured live firing of surface-to-ship missiles by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) from a launcher on the back of a Palletized Load System (PLS) by the U.S. Army, fired from Barking Sands. This marks the first time the U.S. Army and JGSDF have participated in a sinking exercise during RIMPAC as well as the first participation by a Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

A torpedo from an unnamed submarine is shown at the 5:40 mark breaking her back. You can see her distinctive bow doors in several scenes, as well as her 1970s-era twin 3″/50 dual purpose gun mounts, still installed.

Racine, an 8,700-ton Newport-class of Landing Ship, Tank, was commissioned in 1971, decommissioned on 2 October 1993 as the Navy was getting out of the LST business and, after a planned transfer to Peru fell through, was set aside for use as a target while in inactive reserve at Pearl Harbor. She earned one battle star for her Vietnam service.

According to the Navy:

Each SINKEX is required to sink the hulk in at least 1,000 fathoms (6,000 feet) of water and at least 50 nautical miles from land. Surveys are conducted to ensure that people and marine mammals are not in an area where they could be harmed during the event.

Prior to the vessel being transported for participation in a SINKEX, each vessel is put through a rigorous cleaning process, including the removal of all polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), transformers and large capacitors, all small capacitors to the greatest extent practical, trash, floatable materials, mercury or fluorocarbon-containing materials and readily detachable solid PCB items. Petroleum is also cleaned from tanks, piping, and reservoirs.

A U.S. Navy environmental, safety and health manager and a quality assurance supervisor inspect the environmental remediation conducted in preparation of a vessel’s use in a SINKEX. Upon completion of the environmental remediation, the manager and supervisor provide signed certification of the work in accordance with EPA requirements.

Real world castaways found by the Mad Foxes

News From 7th Fleet:

Two men wave life jackets and look on as a U.S. Navy P-8A maritime surveillance aircraft

That’s pretty good resolution from a P-8…(U.S. Navy photo by Ensign John Knight/Released)

Two men wave life jackets and look on as a U.S. Navy P-8A maritime surveillance aircraft, Madfox 807, discovers them on the uninhabited island of Fanadik. Three days earlier, the three’s 19-foot skiff capsized after setting out to sea from Pulap, FSM. The P-8A, attached to Patrol Squadron (VP) 5, and operating from Misawa, Japan, responded to a call for assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard and located the men as they waved life jackets and stood next to a large “help” sign made of palm leaves.

The men reported their vessel was capsized by a large wave a few hours after their departure on April 4, and spent the night swimming until they arrived at Fanadik Island, approximately four nautical miles from Pulap. A small boat from Pulap recovered the men from the island with no reported injuries.

(U.S. Navy photo by Ensign John Knight/Released)

(U.S. Navy photo by Ensign John Knight/Released)

It’s far from VP-5s first far-off rescue. The Navy’s second oldest VP squadron, the Mad Foxes were stood up in 1937 and made fame in the “Kiska Blitz” during which their aviators nursed PM-1s through thick Alaskan fog to plaster the Japanese in the Aleutians while keeping an eye peeled for lost P-40 and B-17 crews.

Switching to PV-2 Harpoons the PV-2 Neptunes after the war, they helped pluck one of America’s first astronauts, Commander Alan Shepard, Jr, from the drink, then helped quarantine Cuba. Switching to the P-3 Orion they provided night radar coverage of the Gulf of Tonkin in defense of USN aircraft carriers and went back to the Atlantic to finish the Cold War, even babysitting a stricken Soviet Yankee class sub in 1986.

They switched to the P-8A Poseidon in 2013.

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