The P-8A Poseidon (P-8A), the U.S. Navy’s newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft is a multi-mission capable replacement aircraft for the legacy P-3C Orion. The P-8A is designed to improve an operator’s ability to conduct anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. Additionally, it’s combat-capable and provides warfighters added protection.


Designed to secure the Navy’s future in long-range maritime patrol capability, the P-8A has transformed how the force will man, train, operate and deploy.

The P-8A operates with a smaller crew, yet it also delivers an extended global reach, greater payload capacity, higher operating altitude, open-systems architecture and significant growth potential.

The major sensor systems include an APY-10 radar system, which was developed specifically for the Poseidon and features inverse synthetic aperture radar, and synthetic aperture radar. Additionally, the Poseidon carries an electro-optical/infrared sensor turret and has increased acoustic capability to conduct concurrent passive and active processing.

The P-8A Poseidon is responsive and interoperable with traditional manned forces and evolving unmanned sensors.


Primary Function:  Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-surface Warfare (ASuW), Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)
Contractor:  Boeing Defense, Space and Security
Propulsion:  2 CFM 56-7B engines with 27,300 lbs. thrust each
Length:  129.5 feet (39.47 meters)
Height: 42.1 feet (12.83 meters)
Wingspan:  123.6 feet (37.64 meters)
Maximum Gross Takeoff:  189,200 pounds (85,820 kilograms)
Airspeed:  490 knots (564 mph) true air speed
Ceiling:  41,000 feet (12,496 meters)
Range:  1,200 nautical miles radius with four hours on station
Crew:  Nine
Armament:  Torpedoes, cruise missiles

Program Status

Acquisition Phase: Full Rate Production (FRP)
Inventory:  64 (USN)
Projected Inventory: 111 (USN)

Initial Operational Capabilities (IOC) date: November 2013
Projected Full Operational Capabilities (FOC) date: 2023

--This page was updated January 2018--