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Boeing's P-8A aircraft completes mission systems test


The P-8A Poseidon aircraft. A Boeing photo

SEATTLE (BNS): A P-8A Poseidon long-range maritime surveillance aircraft has successfully completed its first mission systems flight test on June 8, Boeing has announced.

The multi-mission aircraft, being developed for the US Navy, underwent the flight test in Seattle. During its three-hour flight, various mission systems of the aircraft, called T2, were tested.

The joint Boeing and Navy test team exercised mission computing on all five operator workstations and successfully demonstrated key systems – including acoustics, mission planning, tactical data-link, communications, electronic support measures and flight test instrumentation – for the first time, Boeing said in a statement.

“This successful flight moves us a step closer to getting the Poseidon and its next-generation radar and sensors into the hands of the warfighter,” Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president and P-8 programme manager, said.

The aircraft will now be used to verify integrated mission systems performance during flights in Seattle and at US Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

The T2 aircraft is one of the five test aircraft being assembled and tested as part of the US Navy System Development and Demonstration contract Boeing received in 2004. The T1 airworthiness-test aircraft entered flight testing in October 2009 and arrived at the US Navy's Patuxent River facility in April 2010.

The P-8A multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft is based on a Boeing 737-800 airframe with state-of-the art equipment for maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare.

The long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft is meant to replace the US navy’s fleet of P-3C Orion aircraft. The US Navy intends to procure 117 P-8As, the first of which is expected to be delivered by 2013.

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