South Korea Receives First P-8A Poseidons

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South Korea has received the first batch of P-8A Posidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) ordered from Boeing. Ordered for use by the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN), the three P-8As arrived at Pohang’s Naval Air Command today, located 262 kilometres southeast of the capital.

According to the Navy, three more P-8As are scheduled to arrive on June 30. The ROKN purchased six units of the aircraft under a USD1.7 billion project in a government-to-government Foreign Military Sale (FMS) programme.

The P-8A can conduct several missions, namely anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations (ISR) and can be armed with anti-ship guided missiles and torpedoes in addition to 120 sonobuoys that are capable of detecting, identifying and tracking enemy submarines.

An ROKN release read, “the P-8A has made it possible for the Navy not only to enhance its anti-submarine capabilities against North Korean submarines but also to carry out strengthened maritime aviation operations through swift response and expanded surveillance capabilities.” 

With the deliveries, the aircraft would strengthen interoperability in joint aerial maritime operations with their US counterparts who operate the same platform. The P-8A will likely undergo another year of training and evaluations of its operational capabilities before it can be fully deployed.-shp/adj/dl (Pix:ROKN)