Boeing Poseidon MRA.1: Ruler of the Waves

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
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Introduction: The Poseidon MRA.1 represents a significant leap in capability for the RAF, providing capabilities of the utmost modernity in the UK’s anti-submarine operations, providing a platform that will operate reliably for many years to come.

Background: In 2010, the Nimrod MR.2 was retired after 40 years of service. This was due to as part of the extremely controversial 2010 Defence White Paper , which retired numerous types and reduced the overall size of Britain’s armed forces. The Nimrod MR.2 was found to be in an awkward position as it was a highly valued asset, but one which was rapidly approaching the end of its service life and one which was becoming harder to maintain. In addition to this, the type had come under scrutiny due to an accident which claimed the biggest loss of life of British service personnel since the Falklands War, when XV230 was lost over Afghanistan during a surveillance mission. To summarise, the accident was found to have been down to improper maintenance practices and modifications done throughout the service life of the MR.2 due to cost cutting measures. This situation was further compounded by the long-delayed Nimrod MRA.4 program, which was a thorough upgrade program to the MR.2. The project was years behind schedule and well over budget. At this point, the UK was in the midst of a Global Financial Crisis, and something had to go. Due to the ongoing concerns about the safety of the Nimrod, and the added costs of refitting the fleet, as well as the ballooning of program costs, the MRA.4 was cancelled. This was despite a few airframes being constructed, and undergoing tests. The debate still rages whether it was the right decision, however, it may have paid in the long run, as there would have likely been major issues when it came to actually producing the aircraft, in addition to the fact that the lack of funds may have jeopardised other programs or would have forced the retirement of additional service aircraft, something which was not acceptable.

Description: The lack of a maritime patrol aircraft left a major gap in the RAF’s capability, and was a major security issue. In order to keep ASW crew experienced, Project Seedcorn was established, whereby crews from the RAF would be sent to maritime patrol squadrons of the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In the meantime, various types were looked over to see what could replace the Nimrod. In reality however, there was only one true replacement that ticked all the boxes when it came to replacing the Nimrod, and it came from across the pond, in the form of the P-8A Poseidon. The History of the P-8 is described in my post above, but essentially it was designed as a replacement for the P-3 Orion in United States Navy service, and was based off of the Boeing 737-800 airliner. In 2016, the US Government approved of the sale of 9 aircraft to the UK, the latter having ordered them off-the-shelf in the same standard as those of the USN. The first of the aircraft arrived in 2019, with the final arriving in 2022. All aircraft are based out of RAF Lossiemouth, with the base receiving modifications in order for the aircraft to operate from there. The Poseidon was given the designation Poseidon MRA.1, and operates in the ASW and ISR roles, replacing the Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft as well. As of 2022, only the Mk.54 torpedoes were integrated onto the aircraft, however, since they were ordered in the same configuration as the USN variants, these could technically get both Harpoon and SLAM in game, more information in the Performance section. In 2023, the British-made Stingray torpedo was added to the weapons inventory of the Poseidon, likely in an effort to make it compatible with both British and wider NATO stocks at the same time. The Poseidon MRA.1s are set to reach full operating capability within the next few years. The Poseidon will also allow for a high degree of integration, as many of the UK’s allies operate the type, including, but not limited to: the US, Norway, Australia and New Zealand, with Canada likely to order the type soon. With all this in mind, it is safe to say that the career of these aircraft is only beginning, and they are likely to serve the RAF well for the next few decades.

Performance:

Spoiler

Specifications

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 : Split between hardpoints on the wing and in the internal bay

· Mark 54 torpedoes

  • Stingray torpedoes

Tentative weapons:

· HAAWC (a Mark 54 torpedo with a wing kit)

· AGM-84 Harpoon (used by the RAF)

· AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER

The RAF operated the Harpoon, but these were likely too old to be useful in service, however, they could and should be given to the aircraft in game. In regards to the SLAM-ER, I believe that this could be added as it isn’t the first time that aircraft capable of carrying weapons in the service of one nation but not the other have received those weapons in order to balance them. This reasoning should be applied in terms of both Harpoon and SLAM-ER. In addition, the RAF seems to have shown some interest in HAAWC.

Conclusion: I believe that this would make for a good addition to the UK’s top tier lineup. As the game gets progressively more modern, it will not be long before we begin to see modern ships in naval, when such aircraft will be needed in order to both complement and counter them.

Sources:

Spoiler

https://www.forces.net/news/how-p-8a-poseidon-will-protect-uk

https://www.forces.net/news/how-p-8a-poseidon-will-protect-uk

https://www.airinternational.com/p-8a-poseidon-mra1

https://www.airinternational.com/poseidon-mra1

https://www.boeing.com/defense/maritime-surveillance/p-8-poseidon/index.page

https://www.boeing.com/features/2019/07/uk-p8a-first-flight-07-19.page

https://www.boeing.com/features/2019/11/p8-uk-delivery-11-19.page

UK takes delivery of first Boeing P-8 Poseidon MRA1 submarine hunter

P-8 Poseidon history, variants, deployment and photographs

Boeing P-8 Poseidon | Military Wiki | Fandom

P-8A Poseidon

http://www.military-today.com/aircraft/boeing_p8_poseidon.htm

Boeing P-8 Poseidon

What weapons can British P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft carry?

https://eprints.lincoln.ac.uk/id/eprint/46022/1/V-Paget.pdf

https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircraft/poseidon-mra1/

https://www.raf.mod.uk/news/articles/fifth-raf-poseidon-arrives-at-lossiemouth/

RAF chooses UK-manufactured Sting Ray Torpedo for Poseidon fleet - Naval News

4 Likes

+1

2 Likes

Maritime Patrol Aircraft should be added to all nations, and this is a great option! +1

1 Like

As much as I like those aircaft and find them interesting, but in the context of WT: What for?!?

As the naval tech trees progress, more dedicated aircraft should be added too, no?

1 Like

Definitely would love to see it after a Nimrod ingame.

+1

1 Like

For more background information about the Poseidon, please read the suggestion below:

1 Like

-1, no way for self defense, no aams, no gun, this thing only carries bombs, in air rb and air ab it would be free kills and so it would be in any mode with other planes, unless gaijin figures ot if it can carry sidewinders/gun pods then wt is better without it

There are aircraft ingame with no guns and they do fine as bombers.

1 Like

This aircraft has standoff weapons, which we are bound to receive at some point or another, which would give it a greater chance of survival

I think this would be great when/if they add modern ships and submarines. This along with other aircraft like it would be good for countering modern ships.

1 Like

Edited the post to include the Stingray torpedo, which has recently begun tests on the Poseidon.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2023/12/raf-chooses-uk-manufactured-sting-ray-torpedo-for-poseidon-fleet/