Boeing P-8A Poseidon (737-800ERX) MMA (Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft)

TomcatViP

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TIC situation needs fast transit time patrol area. The name of the game is to be there on time to limit casualties on the ground.
IMOHO an airliner derivative would always be slower (think a-10), hence requiring more aircraft patrolling the same area, closer than what a B-1 could do to remain safe.
 

DWG

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TIC situation needs fast transit time patrol area. The name of the game is to be there on time to limit casualties on the ground.
IMOHO an airliner derivative would always be slower (think a-10), hence requiring more aircraft patrolling the same area, closer than what a B-1 could do to remain safe.

The problem isn't just fast response, it's sustained response. If you're relying on fast-movers then they usually have substantially lower time on station, bar a tanker. If you're relying on something with long endurance then it can be sitting overhead when trouble spawns and has significantly better persistence once on station. MALE UAVs win for pure time-over-target persistence (particularly as you can swap pilots/operators mid-mission), but don't have particularly deep magazines. Fast-movers have quick response and better magazines, but poor endurance. Patrol aircraft might actually hit a sweet spot for long endurance and deep magazines for combat persistence.
 

TomS

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TIC situation needs fast transit time patrol area. The name of the game is to be there on time to limit casualties on the ground.
IMOHO an airliner derivative would always be slower (think a-10), hence requiring more aircraft patrolling the same area, closer than what a B-1 could do to remain safe.

Always thought the Boeing Sonic Cruiser made more sense as a bomber than a passenger airliner. But not enough sense as either, apparently.
 

trose213

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Remnants of Dale Brown anyone? Yep here is how RB-8 all Arsenal missile carry8ng version could be.

Something about this just doesn't click for me, I'm all for more P-8s and as a JSTAR replacement too. but what exactly is Tyler gushing about? The Navy is already expanding their P-8s armament capability for LRASM/JASM and more.
P-8 stripped of all its maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare gear
Would that really free up so much internal volume that he claims? He then circles back and boasts that the sonobuoys could be used to drop drones and loitering munitions. So what volumetric ASW gear is there to remove if he's keeping the buoy launchers and racks?
Why bother ripping out the APY-10 for some dainty fighter radar that would need to be flight tested and certified for a supposed benefit?
I can't see how these structural and electronic changes would save any money, he proposes a decent idea and then gold plates it for minimal gain.

More useful idea: Activate another C-5 squadron or two in the Reserve force for pallet launched ballistic and cruise missiles.
Joint USAF funding for another 50-75 P-8s in similar vain to the 390th EA-18 squadron which provides Air Force guys for Navy expeditionary electronic squadrons. If we're going Joint from top to bottom, let's practice what we preach and share some damn resources.

Well, there is a ton of acoustic and other processing gear on the upper deck of the P-8 aft of the crew workspace (5-6 rack bays, several crew stations, etc.). Gutting that all out would surely save some weight. Not sure you could add more fuel, though. The below-deck space is pretty well full up, between the existing aux fuel tanks and the weapon bay. Adding fuel above the deck seems improbable for various reasons.

So, you get a plane that carries 4 JASSM and 5 JDAM or 20 SDB plus many Griffin or other tube-launched light weapons or drones. Not terrible. But also not exactly survivable. Taking his SDB anti-ship scenario, I'd be really nervous taking a glorified airliner within 40 miles of a modern surface combatant, ECM or no.

I would assume a plane like this would only be considered if a scheme that increases the sizable still available payload weight. It only makes sense if it can be a bomb truck/arsenal plane. The freighters derived from the 737-800 can carry 23.9 tonnes of payload, so even half of that would be a worthwhile investment. The only real concern is coming up with a configuration that could use the payload capacity. Speed doesn't really matter anymore for the airframe in this case, given you either have a slow stealthy cruise missile or a hypersonic one. Wonder how much more reinforcement the wings would need to carry ARRWs.

C-5s would probably be the most ineffective plane for this role. This is hardly Tyler's dumbest idea.

So, you get a plane that carries 4 JASSM and 5 JDAM or 20 SDB plus many Griffin or other tube-launched light weapons or drones. Not terrible. But also not exactly survivable. Taking his SDB anti-ship scenario, I'd be really nervous taking a glorified airliner within 40 miles of a modern surface combatant, ECM or no.
The main use case imo would be to replace B-1 and AC-130 in heavy persistent CAS, assuming a stripped down version would have airliner type operating costs. To think all those supersonic penetration airframe hours burned for that mission....
And reliability, no problem doing maintenance or endurance. Would definitely allow for more austere operations.
 

isayyo2

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C-5s would probably be the most ineffective plane for this role. This is hardly Tyler's dumbest idea.
Yes, it certainly isn't Tyler's first outlandish idea is his long blogging career.

I will object to the "ineffective" claim, is it grotesquely expensive? Absolutely. But with the push for "palletized" weapons and a desire for further airlift/sealift then pulling more C-5s into service is a worthy notion (not that it would ever happen). If a C-17 can carry 32 JASSM-ERs on pallets, presumably 2 per pallet, and a C-5 can carry double the amount of pallets then that's quite a bit of ordnance. Of course the C-5 costs a bit more per hour... But with Reserve or ANG crews there could be modest decrease in price. The C-5s have already demonstrated an ABM capability as has the C-17s; as well as the C-5s having a more pronounced austere operation capability over the P-8s. Though the Navy could always fund a "Gravel Kit" for their patrol planes.

In a dispersed operation concept, a single C-5M could self deploy to some remote pacific island with a palletized combinations of ABMs and ALCMs and a gaggle of airmen with their tools for any maintenance needs. With their improved thrust and higher flotation gear over a C-17 several remote strips are open for consideration, presumably these fields would have JPALS installed before their arrival. I'd imagine any cargo planes carrying palletized munitions would need further datalink connections for JADC2 and ABMS?

As I previously posted this continued Pivot to the Pacific needs to be joint and no one platform or munition will save us from the red horde. We need Navy P-8s and MQ-4s teamed with Air Force MQ-9s and palletized munitions alongside with whatever the Army and Marines are fielding.
 

trose213

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I will object to the "ineffective" claim, is it grotesquely expensive? Absolutely. But with the push for "palletized" weapons and a desire for further airlift/sealift then pulling more C-5s into service is a worthy notion (not that it would ever happen). If a C-17 can carry 32 JASSM-ERs on pallets, presumably 2 per pallet, and a C-5 can carry double the amount of pallets then that's quite a bit of ordnance. Of course the C-5 costs a bit more per hour... But with Reserve or ANG crews there could be modest decrease in price. The C-5s have already demonstrated an ABM capability as has the C-17s; as well as the C-5s having a more pronounced austere operation capability over the P-8s. Though the Navy could always fund a "Gravel Kit" for their patrol planes.

Ineffective as in overconcentrating firepower on the plane. The ALBM is just launching a BM out of the cargo bay. Then there's the cost of giving the C-5s the same EW capabilities and survivability as a the P-8. The P-8 is more akin to a regional bomber and this C-5 concept is closer to a strategic bomber.


In a dispersed operation concept, a single C-5M could self deploy to some remote pacific island with a palletized combinations of ABMs and ALCMs and a gaggle of airmen with their tools for any maintenance needs. With their improved thrust and higher flotation gear over a C-17 several remote strips are open for consideration, presumably these fields would have JPALS installed before their arrival.

Good luck getting FRED up and sustained at austere airstrips. It barely can sustain from mainland AFBs. While those FREDs are on the ground getting maintenance done in an attempt to get them in the air, they'll be sitting ducks for Chinese BMs and CMs.
 

isayyo2

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The ALBM is just launching a BM out of the cargo bay. Then there's the cost of giving the C-5s the same EW capabilities and survivability as a the P-8. The P-8 is more akin to a regional bomber and this C-5 concept is closer to a strategic bomber.
That's a very apt comparison. But does the C-5 need any further defensive enhancements if it's shooting ordnance outside of contested airspace?

Good luck getting FRED up and sustained at austere airstrips. It barely can sustain from mainland AFBs. While those FREDs are on the ground getting maintenance done in an attempt to get them in the air, they'll be sitting ducks for Chinese BMs and CMs.
And somehow the P-8 with no self-deployment capability of ground staff and equipment is more survivable in dispersed setting?
That does bring up an interesting discussion on how the P-8s will be operated on the island chains. Presumably Marines take the island and KC-130s fly in the engineers for runway rehab. Then Navy C-130Ts and C-40s deploy with P-8s carrying any munitions and maintenance needs?

Perhaps Tylers "RB-8" should include a freighter door to enhance its self-sufficiency on austere deployments?
 

trose213

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And somehow the P-8 with no self-deployment capability of ground staff and equipment is more survivable in dispersed setting?
That's cause the P-8 is based off the 737, which doesn't need ground maintenance after every flight so a hub and spoke model would work here.

Presumably Marines take the island and KC-130s fly in the engineers for runway rehab. Then Navy C-130Ts and C-40s deploy with P-8s carrying any munitions and maintenance needs?
They can disperse to the already existing air ports and strips.

But does the C-5 need any further defensive enhancements if it's shooting ordnance outside of contested airspace?
If they're only going to be maxed out with standoff munitions, it doesn't make sense to fly from the pacific. Better to come from Australia and Alaska. Assuming the C-5s are able to fire off their loads successfully then what?
 

Foo Fighter

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"If they're only going to be maxed out with standoff munitions, it doesn't make sense to fly from the pacific. Better to come from Australia and Alaska. Assuming the C-5s are able to fire off their loads successfully then what"?

presumably, they go home for coffee and donuts.
 

DWG

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C-5s would probably be the most ineffective plane for this role. This is hardly Tyler's dumbest idea.
Yes, it certainly isn't Tyler's first outlandish idea is his long blogging career.

I'm not certain that we should be calling it outlandish given that in the P-8's closest competitor, the Nimrod MRA.4, the A-for-Attack was there for a reason.
 

trose213

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"If they're only going to be maxed out with standoff munitions, it doesn't make sense to fly from the pacific. Better to come from Australia and Alaska. Assuming the C-5s are able to fire off their loads successfully then what"?

presumably, they go home for coffee and donuts.
And the ground crew that has a coin flip of getting in the air? Why not just fly from home to begin with?
 

Foo Fighter

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Why do the ground crew who get a 'ride' come into the equation?
 

TomS

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If you had a bunch more C-5s flying in a Pacific conflict you can bet they'd be instantly dragooned into strategic airlift missions, which are always in short supply.

The P-8A CONOPS is already based on a model where the aircraft spent time away from the Primary Deployment Site in theater to a number of Forward Operating Locations. The P-3s did this as well, but the FOLs tend to be prestaged (Camp Lemonier is a P-3 FOL for example) while the P-8 is supposed to be able to fly into an unprepared FOL with limited logistical support for up to 90 days. But for sure it will require some other airlift, like a C-40A Clipper (another 737 version).

Ideally, these FOLs will be existing airfields where they can at least rely on local fuel (bringing in fuel generally means sealift, since moving fuel by air is really expensive). In an emergency, they might even use commercial 737 spares and services, though that's a last-ditch option.
 
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isayyo2

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If you had a bunch more C-5s flying in a Pacific conflict you can bet they'd be instantly dragooned into strategic airlift missions, which are always in short supply.

The P-8A CONOPS is already based on a model where the aircraft spent time away from the Primary Deployment Site in theater to a number of Forward Operating Locations. The P-3s did this as well, but the FOLs tend to be prestaged (Camp Lemonier is a P-3 FOL for example) while the P-8 is supposed to be able to fly into an unprepared FOL with limited logistical support for up to 90 days. But for sure it will require some other airlift, like a C-40A Clipper (another 747 version).

Ideally, these FOLs will be existing airfields where they can at least rely on local fuel (bringing in fuel generally means sealift, since moving fuel by air is really expensive). In an emergency, they might even use commercial 737 spares and services, though that's a last-ditch option.
Nice! Thanks for shedding some light onto their CONOPS
 

trose213

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If you had a bunch more C-5s flying in a Pacific conflict you can bet they'd be instantly dragooned into strategic airlift missions, which are always in short supply.
This is where the palletized munitions concept starts coming apart. Using airlift capacity for the standoff mission is like robbing Peter to pay Paul, and is the reason why it leads to concepts like using cargo rockets, but it would make more sense to use that also in the strike role. I personally think it would make more sense in the C-5 offensive role to function as a drone mothership that can dominate a large swath of air space.

Why do the ground crew who get a 'ride' come into the equation?
The USAF just invested a decent chunk of change getting a bunch of airfields ready to operate C-5s from.

Ideally, these FOLs will be existing airfields where they can at least rely on local fuel (bringing in fuel generally means sealift, since moving fuel by air is really expensive).
There's also delivering munitions to the airfield, which requires a whole separate flight.
 

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Well, for those missions, if the load is launched there will not be much to deliver. If they are delivering munitions, they complete the mission. Why is there a consideration for ground crew? They are there to complete the mission like any other military staff.
 

trose213

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Well, for those missions, if the load is launched there will not be much to deliver. If they are delivering munitions, they complete the mission. Why is there a consideration for ground crew? They are there to complete the mission like any other military staff.
I thought in isayyo2's concept the C-5s, like the P-8s, were permanently dispersed for maximum survivability. A ground crew and significant infrastructure is needed because FRED isn't known for being a reliable beast.
 

isayyo2

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C-5s would probably be the most ineffective plane for this role. This is hardly Tyler's dumbest idea.
Yes, it certainly isn't Tyler's first outlandish idea is his long blogging career.

I'm not certain that we should be calling it outlandish given that in the P-8's closest competitor, the Nimrod MRA.4, the A-for-Attack was there for a reason.
I only call it outlandish since his proposal for an "RB-8" is a step backwards from just buying more P-8s and keeping their supply chain intact.
 

trose213

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C-5s would probably be the most ineffective plane for this role. This is hardly Tyler's dumbest idea.
Yes, it certainly isn't Tyler's first outlandish idea is his long blogging career.

I'm not certain that we should be calling it outlandish given that in the P-8's closest competitor, the Nimrod MRA.4, the A-for-Attack was there for a reason.
I only call it outlandish since his proposal for an "RB-8" is a step backwards from just buying more P-8s and keeping their supply chain intact.
The only reason why this is outlandish is because there's no requirement or budget for it. Would be good for Australia and the Euros.
 

isayyo2

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C-5s would probably be the most ineffective plane for this role. This is hardly Tyler's dumbest idea.
Yes, it certainly isn't Tyler's first outlandish idea is his long blogging career.

I'm not certain that we should be calling it outlandish given that in the P-8's closest competitor, the Nimrod MRA.4, the A-for-Attack was there for a reason.
I only call it outlandish since his proposal for an "RB-8" is a step backwards from just buying more P-8s and keeping their supply chain intact.
The only reason why this is outlandish is because there's no requirement or budget for it. Would be good for Australia and the Euros.
Definitely that, the RAAF needs all the range it can get :confused:
 

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Before you can do any of this you need air dominance - these aircraft are vulnerable even with all the countermeasures available. Having said that, using transport aircraft might be possible - first employ them in staging and once over that hump and you own the skies, employ some of them in offensive ops whilst the rest maintain the logistics train. But, I would prefer they were all in logistics support than offensive ops.
 

trose213

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Before you can do any of this you need air dominance - these aircraft are vulnerable even with all the countermeasures available. Having said that, using transport aircraft might be possible - first employ them in staging and once over that hump and you own the skies, employ some of them in offensive ops whilst the rest maintain the logistics train. But, I would prefer they were all in logistics support than offensive ops.
It's a standoff missile freighter, it doesn't need to penetrate. The new JASSM-ER will have a range of 1000nm. Even if air dominance was an issue, there would still be the option of having an anti-air loadout with SM-6s, AIM-260s, shorter range missiles for defense and drones.
 

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Using P-8s as persistent intel platforms with a moderate (but persistent) bombing capability might makes sense in a permissive environment like Iraq or 'stan. When they are upgraded with BRU-55s, SDB, etc in the next go around they likely will have a bit of that capability. But it makes no sense for anything like a peer competitor. Nor does basing munitions on cargo aircraft that would be desperately needed in their primary role in any conflict.
 

TomcatViP

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Cargo aircraft may double down as persistent attack platforms in permissive environments and switch back to their role in less permissive conflicts. The advantage of that is you can size a fleet for high intensity conflicts that still remain coherent in other cases.
 

trose213

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Cargo aircraft may double down as persistent attack platforms in permissive environments and switch back to their role in less permissive conflicts. The advantage of that is you can size a fleet for high intensity conflicts that still remain coherent in other cases.
They are still relevant vs a peer threat given long enough standoff munitions. The Japanese were thinking about going with a C-2 arsenal plane for the F-X program.
 

TomcatViP

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Some info regarding the fleet of P-8i in India (and more on IAF fleet availability and PBL contracts):

Boeing also supports the Indian Navy’s fleet of P-8I Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft by providing PBL, spares, ground support equipment, field service representatives and on-site engineering support.

“Boeing’s integrated logistics support has enabled the highest state of fleet readiness at the lowest possible costs. Since induction, the Indian Navy P-8I fleet has surpassed 30,000 flight hours,” says Boeing.

The first P-8i was introduced in 2013 and India has received so far 10 airframe.

 
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