I’ll offer this up as plane pr0n to the highly esteemed denizens of the site, along with the querulous query: Will the P-8A become the operational and financial sinkhole that I believe the F-35 series already is?
Obviously it can get from here to there summat faster than the venerable 4 turnin and whirlin P-3C, but is the cost per flight hour comparatively lower or higher?
Question: Can it shut one down and still safely conduct the patrol as the P-3 does? Heh!
Can it get low enough and slow enough to effectively prosecute a target, as the P-3 certainly has proven capable of doing?
Has it got the hang time of the P-3, or does it need to have Texaco standing by? (Can it refuel in air? Now, THAT’S a question!)
What, with the bigger airframe and all, does it have for galley? Does it have fold down racks, or does an AW still have to earn their stripes sleeping on the deck?
Can it hang in its belly and on its wings as many toys that go boom as the P-3? Which, just for the food fight that’s in it, I’m not sure they’ve ever maxed out on the P-3 and broken a wing spar by trying.
Admittedly, the B737 airframe has proven reliable and durable enough to become trustworthy, but are the projected unit cost so high and the projected production level so low that those in thin air section at the top are going to be reluctant to put them in harm’s way in the worst of times?
“Umm, we can hang Harpoon on it, but I don’t want it anywhere inside of 500 miles of anything that can shoot back! Besides, I might have a RADM onboard coordinating ISR and getting his flight pay! We don’t pay Admirals to go out and get shot at!”
If the Navy can field the P-8 Poseidon, what about another shipborne, fixed wing, ASW platform? Why not them?
So, there are more questions, but it’s Friday.
Ladies and Gentlemen (don’t smirk!), the 28 June 2013 edition of Battleshots is about to begin.
In five…four…three…two…huh? Oh yeah, thanks.
AW’s and assorted ASW Ossifers get priority shot at this.
So, where was I?
(U.S. Navy photo by Vance Vasquez ) Thanks, Vance. Nice shot!