Navy Boeing P-8 maritime patrol jet to receive ASW system upgrades

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md.-The U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon, a military maritime patrol version of the Boeing 737 single-aisle passenger jet, will receive anti-submarine warfare (ASW) system upgrades and support services under terms of a $7.2 million contract modification.

The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., awarded the contract modification to ERAPSCO Inc. in Columbia City, Ind., for engineering and manufacturing development services in support of the P-8A's High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare (HAASW) system. The action involves an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.

The Navy P-8 patrol jet, shown above, will receive upgrades to its anti-submarine warfare systems.
The Navy P-8 patrol jet, shown above, will receive upgrades to its anti-submarine warfare systems.

ERAPSCO and its sister company Sonobuoy TechSystems in Columbia City, Ind., are joint ventures between Sparton Corp. in De Leon Springs, Fla., and Ultra Electronics UnderSea Sensor Systems Inc. (USSI) in Columbia City, Ind. The companies design and build Navy sonobuoys and transducers.

Navy officials plan to use the P-8A in tandem with the Northrop Grumman RQ-4N Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a maritime-patrol version of the Global Hawk long-range surveillance UAV.

Navy ASW experts will use BAMS to detect potentially hostile submarines and surface ships, and upon detection, to call in the P-8A to take a closer look or to attack hostile vessels with torpedoes and missiles. The P-8A tracks submerged submarines by laying down arrays of sonar-carrying sonobuoys on the ocean's surface.

The HAASW integrates modified sonobuoy sensors to enhance the P-8A's ability to track submarines and other maritime vessels from higher than traditional fixed-wing airborne ASW altitudes.

Relatively high altitudes for the P-8A are to enhance communications range with large-area buoy fields, as well as to enhance coverage from other onboard non-acoustic sensors. The HAASW capability for P-8A is to be part of the aircraft's Increment 2 upgrade to the baseline (Increment 1) aircraft.

The HAASW system can receive, process, and store in-buoy GPS data received from AN/SSQ-53, AN/SSQ-62, and AN/SSQ -101B sonobuoys; will integrate the GPS drop vector algorithm to enhance buoy splash point prediction and accuracy in real time; and will receive, command, and process the AN/SSQ-101B sonobuoy with a digital uplink and downlink.

The SSQ-53 is a passive directional, low-frequency analyze and record sonobuoy; the SSQ-62 is a directional command active sonobuoy; and the SSQ-101 is an air-deployed active receiver. All are built by Sonobuoy TechSystems.

For the ERAPSCO contract modification, the company will do the work in DeLeon Springs, Fla. and Columbia City, Ind., and should be finished in May 2014.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit ERAPSCO at http://erapsco.com.


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