Navy orders P-8A Poseidon flight simulators from Boeing for aircraft operations and weapons
ORLANDO, Fla., 21 Dec. 2015. U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft experts are ordering flight simulators from the Boeing Co. to support the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
Officials of the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division in Orlando, Fla., announced a $178.1 million contract last week to the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Seattle to provide 16 operational flight trainers; 13 weapons tactics trainers; and four part task trainers for the P-8 aircraft.
An operational flight trainer is a flight simulator for general flight training. It has a motion platform in order to enable realistic instrument flying and other procedural training. A weapons tactics trainer also is a flight simulator that enables P-8 crews to practice mission profiles like deploying sonobuoys and torpedoes. A part task trainer, meanwhile, trains a member of the aircrew on a particular aircraft task.
The P-8 is a militarized version of the Boeing 737 single-aisle jetliner hardened for long-range maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions. It is scheduled to replace the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion maritime patrol turboprop aircraft.
Navy officials plan to use the P-8A in tandem with the Northrop Grumman RQ-4N Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) -- a maritime-patrol version of the Global Hawk long-range surveillance UAV. Plans call for using 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 contract also calls for Boeing to provide a training systems support center and electronic classrooms located at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Fla.; Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, Wash., as well as in Dallas and St. Louis. Jacksonville and Whidbey Island naval air stations are the primary bases for the Navy P-8 on the East and West coasts.
On this contract Boeing will do the work in St. Louis; Jacksonville, Fla.; Oak Harbor, Wash.; and Dallas, and should be finished by December 2018.