PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – U.S. Navy avionics experts needed a large electronics-cooling system for thermal management of electronic components and sensors aboard the U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol jet. They found their solution from Meggitt Defense Systems Inc. in Irvine, Calif.
Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $27.4 million order to Meggitt on Monday for 31 P-8A liquid air palletized systems (LAPS) over the course of three years.
The electronics cooling order calls for Meggitt to deliver 10 LAPS units in order year two; 11 LAPS units in order year three; and 11 LAPS units in order year four.
Meggitt’s liquid palletized solution provides essential cooling to mission-critical equipment and sensors to ensure safe flight. The system can provide as much as 64 kilowatts of cooling for the aircraft when operating above 10,000 feet, and 20 kilowatts of ground cooling.
The LAPS electronics-cooling system provides thermal management for the computer processors, electronic and electro-optical sensors, and other heat-generating avionics aboard the P-8A aircraft.
The P-8 is a militarized version of the Boeing 737-800 single-aisle passenger jetliner hardened for long-range ocean missions like surveillance, maritime patrol, and anti-submarine warfare. It is replacing the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion maritime patrol turboprop aircraft.
Ultimately, the Navy plans to buy 108 P-8A aircraft from Boeing, which is building the Poseidon at its factory in Renton, Wash. The 737 fuselage and tail sections are from by Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kan., and move to Renton where technicians will assemble the finished aircraft.
The P-8A’s flight management system and the stores management system have been developed by GE Aviation Systems in Grand Rapids, Mich. The cabin has as many as seven operator consoles.
The Poseidon’s MX-20HD digital electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) multi-spectral sensor turrets come from L-3 Communications Wescam in Burlington, Ontario. The MX-20HD is gyro-stabilized and can have as many as seven sensors, including infrared, CCDTV, image intensifier, laser rangefinder, and laser illuminator.
The aircraft has the upgraded APS-137D(V)5 maritime surveillance radar and signals intelligence (SIGINT) system from the Raytheon Co. Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) segment in McKinney, Texas.
The Raytheon APS-137D(V)5 radar, which is installed on the P-8’s enlarged nose fairing, provides synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for imaging stationary ships and small vessels, coastal and overland surveillance, and high-resolution imaging synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) for imaging surfaced submarines and fast surface vessels operating in coastal waters.
The P-8A will have the CAE Inc. advanced integrated magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) system, and eventually may use air-deployable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to handle magnetic anomaly detection.
The Navy also plans to arm the P-8A with the MK 54 torpedo, which will be fitted with kits to enable the aircraft to release them from altitudes as high as 30,000 feet. The modified torpedoes will glide through the air and enter the water safely to enable the Poseidon to attack enemy submarines from long ranges.
The Poseidon will have the Wideband Global satellite communications (SATCOM) system, otherwise known as WGS -- a high-capacity SATCOM link that will augment and eventually replace Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) and Global Broadcast Service (GBS) satellites.
On this order Meggitt will do the work in Irvine, Calif; Sumner, Wash.; Niagara, N.Y.; and other U.S. locations, and should be finished by November 2024.