flyboy2001
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Orion Vs. Poseidon

Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:13 am

Ok, so I'm chatting with an American friend of mine and I mention that the P-3 Orion is being retired and replaced by the new, 737-800 derived P-8 Poseidon. Being the first time he had heard this, hi reaction started with "why are they replacing a perfect plane?" and continued, with utter certainty, to "they're just buying a new plane for the sake of buying a new plane."

Now, I do not claim to know the reasons or politics behind the P-8 program and I may have naively assumed that the US Navy would, naturally, make the right decision as to the right maritime patrol/ASW aircraft for their future needs but, on the other hand, my friend may have also been too quick to assume that someone in the USN just wanted a shiny new plane or needed to use up all of their budget, or some such scenario.

Could someone shed some light on the case for or against the P-8 as the P-3 replacement?
And you... Revolution, or just resistance?
 
fridgmus
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:50 am

From what I gathered from our pilots here, the P-3 is just plain worn out! They're cannabilizing parts from planes in the bone yard at Davis-Monthan to keep them flying.

Plus they're old technology.

Hope that helps.

F
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B727LVR
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:29 pm

Agreed! The P-3 is getting a bit longin the tooth. She was darn good aircraft for wqhat she was intened for tho! Not sure if the P-8 can hold up to the reputation the P-3 is leaving behind. 12-14 hr missions for a 737 seems to be a stretch. Keep in that P-3 can't refule in mid air. The new technology will be a welcome sight to the operators I bet. I guess time will tell.
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kc135topboom
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:45 pm

Also, the P-8 is not replacing current technology that is on the P-3C. It will be future technology the P-3C will not be able to take on in the next decade. The P-3 is an outstanding airplane, and the P-8 will have to fill some very big shoes to replace it. I think it will, eventually, after the P-8 gets through its "growing pain" period that all new technology airplanes will go through.
 
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STT757
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:17 pm

The P-8 is more of a true Multi-Mission aircraft (MMA), it's going to combine it's anti submarine functions with signal intelligence as well as maritime monitoring. It's going to work in tandem with the new Navalized version of the RQ-4 Global Hawk as part of the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program.

The Navy awarded a contract last year for 40 RQ-4Ns that will eventually be operating from five bases World wide;

Hawaii, Diego Garcia, Jacksonville , Kadena Japan and Sigonella Italy.

The RQ-4N can stay on station for over 24 hours, giving it excellent surveillance capabilities.

My only concern is that I think the projected size of the P-8 is a little low, 108 aircraft is fine for the active duty force but there are none slated for the Reserves. The Reserves traditionally not only augmented the active duty fleet with their P-3 but also were tasked with anti drug smuggling operations in the Caribbean, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. Also the closing Brunswick Naval air station in Maine is cause for concern, no ASW assets in the New England/Northeast.

They should add 5 squadrons (35 aircraft) to the P-8 order for the Reserves;

1 Reserve Squadron Point Mugu
1 Reserve Squadron New Orleans
1 Reserve Squadron Jacksonville
2 Reserve Squadrons in the Northeast (ie. Portsmouth ANG, Otis, McGuire AFB etc.)
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ebj1248650
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:49 pm



Quoting STT757 (Reply 4):
My only concern is that I think the projected size of the P-8 is a little low, 108 aircraft is fine for the active duty force but there are none slated for the Reserves. The Reserves traditionally not only augmented the active duty fleet with their P-3 but also were tasked with anti drug smuggling operations in the Caribbean, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. Also the closing Brunswick Naval air station in Maine is cause for concern, no ASW assets in the New England/Northeast.

Might this be because the anticipated naval threats aren't nearly as significant as they were during the cold war? Is it also possible the number of airplanes per squadron will be reduced and additional squadrons can be formed as a result?
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par13del
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:29 pm



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 5):
Might this be because the anticipated naval threats aren't nearly as significant as they were during the cold war?

Well the blue water threat may be diminished but the brown water has grown, with the retirement of the S3's the only a/c the Navy have for close in-shore searches are the helo's and the P8. One large and one slow a/c close in-shore looking for diesel subs will require some air to air protection, lets hope the new LCS class anti-sub capabilities will be there. With the Perry's getting old and no replacement, I don't expect them to place billion dollar Burkes close in-shore to perform anti-sub patrols, however impressive that capability might be, they are more valuable in the anti-air protection role.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:48 am

The P-8 will work with the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV. The USN will use BAMS to help patrol the seas, relying on the fewer number of P-8's to prosecute anything interesting the UAV finds. Likewise a company called iRobot has a prototype UUV called Seaglider that will allow the USN to put thousands of these small autonomous swimmers, each of which can stay at sea for many months, to listen for adversary subs or surface ships, reporting these findings periodically to satellites when it surfaces, allowing the P-8 to prosecute an actual datum rather than staring at empty ocean for hours and hours day after day like the P-3 community often did. A sensor rich environment and net centricity replace hundreds of ships and airplanes patrolling the ocean.

Furthermore, there are more helicopter platforms today than there used to be in the past. A pair or more of dipping sonar helos are one of the most valuable tools in ASW, which is why, for example, the JMSDF built the DDH's and the Canadians made room for Sea Kings and now the Cyclone's on our frigates and destroyers. There is an increasing number of ships in the USN that have helicopter pad and helicopters, and that means more ASW platforms.
 
flyboy2001
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:01 am

Thanks for the replies, everyone. It's obvious that it's not a case of replacing like with like but rather new capabilities for an evolved role.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 6):
With the Perry's getting old and no replacement, I don't expect them to place billion dollar Burkes close in-shore to perform anti-sub patrols

Is there still a chance that more littoral ships like USS Freedom or Independence will be built for such a purpose?
And you... Revolution, or just resistance?
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:47 am



Quoting Flyboy2001 (Reply 8):
Is there still a chance that more littoral ships like USS Freedom or Independence will be built for such a purpose?

Roughly 30 to 60 LCS's are being advocated. So, if all envisioned were built, enough will be present to replace the Perry's.
 
jarheadk5
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:02 am



Quoting B727LVR (Reply 2):
12-14 hr missions for a 737 seems to be a stretch.

The P-8 has a UARRSI, so it is (will be) AR-capable. I expect to see the data in our refueling publications within the next couple years.
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ThePointblank
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:21 am



Quoting JarheadK5 (Reply 10):
The P-8 has a UARRSI, so it is (will be) AR-capable. I expect to see the data in our refueling publications within the next couple years.

Don't forget the 6 belly fuel tanks, as found on the Boeing Business Jet 2...
 
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par13del
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:34 am



Quoting Flyboy2001 (Reply 8):
Is there still a chance that more littoral ships like USS Freedom or Independence will be built for such a purpose?

Considering that these are more "economic" projects than the delivery of weapons of war I would say not many, the initail project of two designs was almost cancelled due to cost overruns, a fleet of 10 is probably more realistic, the so called "mission modules" will be touted as the "greate equalizer".
The Perry's were cheap ships designed and built from the outset to provide numbers, the numbers military OEM's tout now are the maximum from each ship, remember that a Burke now cost over 1 billion so........

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 7):
Furthermore, there are more helicopter platforms today than there used to be in the past.

Yep, they are slow to the fight, limited in the number of ordinance and total payload, time on station, I guess the robotic vehicles cannot arrive soon enough. Close in shore they will require protection, ASW work has always been more potetnt as a combined platform operation, this is even more true now with the limited number of dedicated ASW platforms, more multi-role platforms.
Let's hope we never have to find out how effective they all are.
 
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Revelation
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:11 pm



Quoting JarheadK5 (Reply 10):
The P-8 has a UARRSI, so it is (will be) AR-capable. I expect to see the data in our refueling publications within the next couple years.



Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 11):
Don't forget the 6 belly fuel tanks, as found on the Boeing Business Jet 2

Indeed. People hear the P8 is based on the 737 and somehow they get the image of a WN 73G in their head, but that's far from the truth. It has an enhanced 737-800 fuse with 737-900 wing with improved strength.

Previous discussion: First Boeing P-8 Poseidon Out Of Factory (by AeroplaneFreak Apr 20 2009 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

Quoting Par13del (Reply 12):
Close in shore they will require protection, ASW work has always been more potetnt as a combined platform operation, this is even more true now with the limited number of dedicated ASW platforms, more multi-role platforms.
Let's hope we never have to find out how effective they all are.

I was kind of surprised the S3s got retired without a fixed wing replacement, but as you say, it would seem the UAVs are expected to pick up the slack.

I think the Pentagon is hoping in the future when tensions rise they will have more of an ability to move assets like P8 closer to where an ASW threat would arise.

As you say, I hope we never find out if they are right or wrong about this.
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rwessel
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:38 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
People hear the P8 is based on the 737 and somehow they get the image of a WN 73G in their head,

So will this be the USNs camouflage paint scheme for the Poseidon?


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flyboy2001
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:05 am



Quoting Rwessel (Reply 14):
So will this be the USNs camouflage paint scheme for the Poseidon?

Best laugh I've had all day!!!  rotfl 
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ThePointblank
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:14 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
I was kind of surprised the S3s got retired without a fixed wing replacement, but as you say, it would seem the UAVs are expected to pick up the slack.

I was not surprised, because the S-3's lost their ASW gear in the mid 1990's. After that, all they had was the ASuW gear (limited at best), and aerial refueling.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 12):
Yep, they are slow to the fight, limited in the number of ordinance and total payload, time on station, I guess the robotic vehicles cannot arrive soon enough. Close in shore they will require protection, ASW work has always been more potetnt as a combined platform operation, this is even more true now with the limited number of dedicated ASW platforms, more multi-role platforms.
Let's hope we never have to find out how effective they all are.

However, they have a better ability to prosecute a target because they have active sensors, and they can hover right above their targets. Furthermore, practically the entire fleet has a flight deck these days that can carry a ASW helicopter. During the Cold War, only a couple of platforms had the ability to carry a ASW helicopter and support it. We have seen a major increase in the numbers of platforms that can operate a helicopter, and in the numbers of helicopters that go to sea.

Two ASW helicopters equipped with dipping sonars supported by a surface ship can make a sub driver's life a complete misery. You can leapfrog the sub for hours if necessary ( SH-3's had five and a half hours endurance and could refuel from a hover from any nearby ship, called HIFR ). One helicopter can have it's sonar in the water giving it's partner range and bearing data for it to fly to to dip its sonar, or if the datum is small enough, to attack the sub. The sub will try to drift out of sonar range, gradually change depth and work it's way slowly out of your net, but it cannot do anything too fast or the noise will give it away.

The helicopter is a better tool to localize the sub and attack it. During the Cold War, we didn't have many flight decks in the fleet so we didn't have the persistence with helicopters we have today, so the S-3 had to do the longer range searching.
 
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par13del
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:15 am



Quoting Rwessel (Reply 14):
So will this be the USNs camouflage paint scheme for the Poseidon?



Quoting Flyboy2001 (Reply 15):
Best laugh I've had all day!!!

What he said, I can't top that  Smile
 
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STT757
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:14 pm

I've brought the idea of using the V-22 as a new platform for the Navy to replace it's C-2, E-2 and compliment the SH-60R/S, in the ASW role the V-22 would fill the gap between the SH-60R/S and the P-8. And it would be able to operate from a variety of platforms, no need for Catapult launches.
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EMBQA
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:57 pm



Quoting STT757 (Reply 4):
Also the closing Brunswick Naval air station in Maine is cause for concern, no ASW assets in the New England/Northeast.

The last P-3's few out of Brunswick NAS this week......
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
studedave
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:05 pm



Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 7):
Furthermore, there are more helicopter platforms today than there used to be in the past.

No kidding? When did they show up? Where did they come from?

I'm not to sure if you're talking boats or birds there, but I am sure (on the USN side) that you are wrong.
If anything- it's a smaller NAVY now then back in the day. Fewer ships = fewer decks.
And most of those old boats had flight decks and hangers.
And many boats went away with no replacement.
Many Burke DDGs were built with just a deck- no hanger.

Long gone are all those H-2s, H3s, H-46s, and NAVY H1s.
In just a few short years gone will be the SH-60B, SH-60F, and HH-60H.
('cept maybe for a few station SAR birds)

In their place--
MH-60R for anti sub, and anti ship.
MH-60S for VERTREP, CSAR, and 'other' stuff...

Quoting STT757 (Reply 18):
SH-60R/S

The WHAT? Those are called MH-60s, thanks.
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par13del
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:30 pm



Quoting StudeDave (Reply 20):
Many Burke DDGs were built with just a deck- no hanger.

That one I never understood, my opinion was that AEGIS was the current god and they did not want to have anything to do with non-air stuff, by dropping the hanger you ensured that the boat would only see helo's dropping or getting some fuel. On the other hand, as with most current programs, the radar and tracking software probably went over budget and something had to go, so smaller magazines for missiles, no hangars etc. etc. etc.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):
Two ASW helicopters equipped with dipping sonars supported by a surface ship can make a sub driver's life a complete misery. You can leapfrog the sub for hours if necessary ( SH-3's had five and a half hours endurance and could refuel from a hover from any nearby ship, called HIFR ).

The Perry's had hangers which I believe could take two of the smaller helos, the 5 1/2 hours endurance with payload - say two torps and sonor buoys - was unknown to me, I assumed it would be a lot less than that, need to bone up on my research.
The dipping sonar may be more beneficial hunting diesels, but the caveat is that the more quite the sub the better thay are able to hear that a/c going into hover beating the water while they lower the sonar, not sure how much cable but the longer the better, but I think they want the length into the water not abover to keep the a/c at a higher altitude, unless that's all science fiction  Smile
 
studedave
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:06 pm



Quoting Par13del (Reply 21):
The Perry's had hangers which I believe could take two of the smaller helos,

They were designed for H2s, but H-60s fit in them as well~ been there- done that!!!

H3s would've been a different story-- on deck only-- and only on some boats.
Most helos can HIFR, but H3s had long enough legs on their own.
Bigger bird = bigger tanks. (much bigger)
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B727LVR
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:24 am



Quoting JarheadK5 (Reply 10):
The P-8 has a UARRSI, so it is (will be) AR-capable. I expect to see the data in our refueling publications within the next couple years.

I would expect it to be. My point was that the P3 could do this with out this capability. Have to admit that was pretty impressive. Is the AR capability going to be with typical Navy fashion and require a basket, or is going to be the plug type? Sorry I don't know the correct terminolgy is.. I'm a Navy guy, lol.
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ThePointblank
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:16 am



Quoting Par13del (Reply 21):
The dipping sonar may be more beneficial hunting diesels, but the caveat is that the more quite the sub the better thay are able to hear that a/c going into hover beating the water while they lower the sonar, not sure how much cable but the longer the better, but I think they want the length into the water not abover to keep the a/c at a higher altitude, unless that's all science fiction Smile

There have been great stride in miniaturization. The sonar reeling equipment in an SH-3 was quite large, as tall as the cabin, and heavy. The transducer was also large. The sensor processing equipment was also very large and bulky. Then there were two sensor rating's in back working sonobuoys and the tactical plot with the co-pilot.

The old SH-60B, with no dipping sonar, was so crowded inside there was literally no room for a fourth crew member to sit, unless it was to sit cross legged on the floor. If a litter was brought on board, the swimmer or medic would have to stand directly over top of the litter. That version of the H-60 carried the same tactical computer as an FFG carried, and the aircraft was down if the air conditioning did not work.

Henceforth, we need a fairly large helicopter at the time to carry the dipping sonar and the sonobuoys; hence the use of the SH-3 Sea King. With recent strides in miniaturization, we've been able to fit the dipping sonar, the sonobuoys, a large surface search radar, and the signal processors into a much smaller package, and squeeze it all onto the SH-60 airframe.

Modern dipping sonars will reach any depth modern subs can operate at (for example, the old SH-60F has its dipping sonar on a 1575 foot cable while the aircraft hovers 60ft above the ocean). No, helicopter sonars do not have the range of a submarine or surface ship sonars, although the newest systems used in the MH-60R are science fiction compared to what was on the SH-3 Sea King.

Primary advantage of ASW helicopters is mobility; one could quickly lay a very precise sonobuoy pattern on the sea, a mixture of passive and active sonobuoys, that would allow one to triangulate the position of the sub to a point. You can then use a data link that feeds data from surface ships and could share sonobuoy freqs with the other ASW aircraft in the area. Once you triangulated your datum down to a small enough triangle, you can then put a sonar in the water and listen. You won't get any range information using it in a passive mode, but you can refine your bearing to the target.

With two or more helicopters dipping you can bring the datum down in size. Helicopters take turns closing in on where your data indicates the enemy sub is. It's tag team. When your data indicates a helicopter is within range, you "go hammer", activating the active sonar. Now you have range in addition to bearing. Keep in mind the sub can hear every bit of this activity, including whatever fixed-wing ASW aircraft up there (S-3 and P-3 included). Heck, they can sometimes hear the sonobuoys hitting the water. They know they are being hunted, but you have the advantage of numbers and mobility. If the sub tries to go to fast to escape, the game is up, so they try to make subtle heading and depth changes hoping to hide under a thermal layer or sneak out one side of your net, if time permits or you are sloppy with your net. Of course the helicopter can lower the sonar into the same thermal layer (you should already have sonobuoys listening and pinging different thermal layers anyways), but you have the advantage of a network of sonobuoys and dipping sonars in the water all around the sub. That active sonar is very demoralizing to the crew of the sub, they know they are naked to their attackers. Heck, we used this to keep Soviet stalkers off of a carrier battle group; all we did was park a frigate and a couple of helicopters over a Red sub harassing it with active sonar while the carrier group steamed off into the distance.

Once a helicopter has gone active, the game is pretty much up. You will have accurate enough bearing and range information for your partner to fly over the sub streaming the MAD bird. When the MAD indicates, you drop torpedoes. Remember, there isn't any sub made that can out-dive or outrun a Mk-46 or a Mk-50 or even the Mk-54 that is dropped directly overhead.

The ability to put a sonar in the water fairly close and go active with impunity is a powerful tool no other ASW asset has. You have bearing and range with great accuracy, the sub is lit up like daylight, and your partner flies over with that MAD gear streaming to drop torps. Surface ships and subs rarely if ever go active, but not so a helicopter. Every other participant in the ASW game has to rely on triangulating passive sonar bearings to get close to the sub. This is less precise than active sonar.
 
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par13del
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:25 pm



Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
The ability to put a sonar in the water fairly close and go active with impunity is a powerful tool no other ASW asset has. You have bearing and range with great accuracy, the sub is lit up like daylight, and your partner flies over with that MAD gear streaming to drop torps.

That impunity makes you wonder why an active homing SAM was not designed for underwater launch, surface ships have to be ready for a counter attack, so they tread cautiously.
 
B727LVR
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:04 pm



Quoting Par13del (Reply 25):
That impunity makes you wonder why an active homing SAM was not designed for underwater launch, surface ships have to be ready for a counter attack, so they tread cautiously.

The ability for a sub to shoot down a helo is there. The helo just has to hope that the sub isn't close enough to get the shot off. Depending on the situation, and I can gurantee the sub will alwyas position them selves in a manner to leave quietly, after knocking out one helo before the other can get on scene the sub is gone.
I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to planes!
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:46 pm



Quoting B727LVR (Reply 26):
The ability for a sub to shoot down a helo is there. The helo just has to hope that the sub isn't close enough to get the shot off. Depending on the situation, and I can gurantee the sub will alwyas position them selves in a manner to leave quietly, after knocking out one helo before the other can get on scene the sub is gone.

However, if a sub did get a shot off against a sub, expect the area to become swarmed with ASW assets, and that sub is still a dead one.
 
jarheadk5
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:30 am



Quoting B727LVR (Reply 23):
Is the AR capability going to be with typical Navy fashion and require a basket, or is going to be the plug type? Sorry I don't know the correct terminolgy is.. I'm a Navy guy, lol.

UARRSI - Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation

The P-8 will refuel from the tanker's boom, just like the E-6B and all the USAF heavies.
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studedave
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:20 am



Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
The old SH-60B, with no dipping sonar, was so crowded inside there was literally no room for a fourth crew member to sit, unless it was to sit cross legged on the floor. If a litter was brought on board, the swimmer or medic would have to stand directly over top of the litter. That version of the H-60 carried the same tactical computer as an FFG carried, and the aircraft was down if the air conditioning did not work.

There isn't much need for that fourth crewmember. But if there was-- there is room.
Our birds regularly flew with all THREE seats installed in the back~

I know because it was my job to install them.

Don't get me started on the H-60's air conditioning-- that was my system too!!!
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cargotanker
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RE: Orion Vs. Poseidon

Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:55 am

I was told a long time ago that one main reason that US P-3s were not air-refuelable was that capability would make them a 'strategic bomber' according to the definitions of the various START and SALT treaties of the Cold War, and that they would then count against the number of strategic bombers the US was allowed to possess.

Apparently the P-3s were at some points capable of carrying a variety of nuclear weapons, such as mines, torpedoes, and bombs(?).

Anyone know anything about this?

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