FRIDAY FOTO (March 27, 2020)

March 27, 2020 at 1:20 pm Leave a comment

Not What You Think.

AWO2 Cooke Conducts Flight Operations

(U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Juan Sua)

Look closely at this photo. It may appear to be a command center on some military base, in a control tower or the bowels of an underground facility, but you’re actually looking inside an airplane — a big airplane.

The P-8A Poseidon is a multi-mission maritime aircraft. It’s design is based on a Boeing 737-800 ERX airliner, which was built to carry more than 100 passengers. The P-8A’s primary missions are persistent Anti-Submarine Warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare, meaning they can stay aloft for extended periods of time to watch for submarines or  surface ships.

The P-8A has a crew of nine, two pilots and seven specialists. The rest of the space on the big plane is taken up by sensors, radar and other surveillance and intelligence technology, and extra fuel tanks. They also carry torpedoes and missiles, as well as sonobuoys — buoys equipped with expendable sonar — to track seaborne vessels.

The photo above shows Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Meghan Cooke and other sailors conducting flight operations aboard a P-8A Poseidon aircraft during an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission over the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on  March 20, 2020.

While the P-8A is a high flying surveillance aircraft, that doesn’t mean things never get  hairy for the crew. Peer competitors like China and Russia don’t like them flying over their ships or near their borders. In 2014, a Chinese Shenyang J-11 fighter jet came within 30 feet of a P-8A over the South China Sea. In November 2016 a Russian Su-30 fighter intercepted a P-8 over the Black Sea, coming within five feet of the U.S. plane, forcing the P-8 through it’s jet wash and causing violent turbulence.

This past February, the U.S. Navy accused a Chinese destroyer of firing a laser at a P-8A flying over the Philippine Sea west of Guam, an act the United States called unsafe and a violation of international agreements. The Chinese government disputed the claim.

To see a short video of activities aboard a P-8A, click here.





Entry filed under: Aircraft, Asia-Pacific, FRIDAY FOTO, National Security and Defense, Naval Warfare, Navy, Photos, Skills and Training, Technology, U.S. Navy, Weaponry and Equipment, women in the military. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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March 2020


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