Navy P-8A Surveillance Planes Deploy to Tense Pacific

Navy P-8A Surveillance Planes Deploy to Tense Pacific

The U.S. Navy has begun deploying six of its next generation submarine hunters, the P-8A Poseidon aircraft, to Japan, marking the plane’s first-ever deployment at the same time China has provoked tensions in the East China Sea

The U.S. Air Force has flown two unarmed B-52 bombers over the contested area in a move that U.S. defense leaders said was meant to show that the U.S and its allies will not curtail its missions in light of China’s announcement.

The B-52 flights are part of what Pentagon officials describe as “persistent bomber presence,” a strategic effort to fly routine missions with unarmed bombers through the region.

Pentagon officials say Vice President Joseph Biden plans to bring up the issue of the East China Sea when meeting in China with Chinese leaders in coming days. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said the U.S. military will not adhere to the guidelines of the Chinese-described air-defense zone — and one Pentagon official called the Chinese proclamation of an air-defense zone in the East China Sea an unnecessary move.

“It heightens tensions in the region and increases the risks of misunderstandings and miscalculations,” said Lt. Col.  Jeffrey Pool, a Pentagon spokesman.

Although the arrival of the P-8As are part of an expected deployment, having the improved ISR and sub-hunting technology of the P-8A aircraft in the region is a welcome development in light of recent tensions and the Pentagon’s broader Pacific re-balance, Pool said.

“They (P-8As) are the most advanced long-range, anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare aircraft in the world,” Pool said.

Emphasizing ISR is a large part of the Pentagon’s Pacific re-balance because of the need for long-dwell ISR over what’s described as the “tyranny of distance” characterizing the geographical expanse of the region.  The Pentagon plans to send two Global Hawk  ISR aircraft to Japan this coming Spring.

In addition, the Navy is developing a carrier-launched drone which will extend ISR dwell-time in the region,  a developmental item called the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program.

Along these lines, the Poseidon aircraft will improve the Navy’s ISR technology in the region, service officials said. The last two of the six P-8A Poseidons left their home base in Jacksonville, Fla. Dec. 3, setting their course for Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.

“The P-8’s state of the art open architecture mission system, coupled with next-generation sensors, improves the fleet’s ability to officially conduct anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and ISR,” said Lt. Caroline Hutcheson, a Navy spokeswoman.

The arrival of the P-8A is part of a phased replacement of the existing P-3C Orion surveillance planes. All fleet squadrons will eventually be equipped with the new P-8A aircraft.

“We will demonstrate the ability of the P-8A to operate effectively alongside P-3C during high-tempo deployed operations. I also look forward to the P-8A integrating seamlessly with our international partners and allies–our interoperability will only get better with Poseidon,” said Capt. Mike Parker, Commander, Task Force 72.

The beginning of this first deployment for the P-8A corresponded with the declaration that the aircraft had achieved initial operational capability.

“The number of submarines in the world is increasing rapidly. Other countries are either building or purchasing advanced, quiet, and extremely hard to find submarines, and we need to be able to match that technology to be able to detect them,” Rear Adm. Matt Carter, Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, said in a written Navy statement.

Boeing is on contract to build and deliver 37 P-8A aircraft, twelve of which have already arrived, said Charles Ramey, Boeing spokesman.  Overall, the Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8As.

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Apart from all the sabre rattling on both sides (let’s be honest, friends, this is China’s right. Let’s see some power ‘assert’ it’s influence in the Gulf of Mexico:p, wouldn’t really be acceptable to US congress), I hope this sells a cr ap load of p-8’s for export. It’s a very advanced plane and developed. Airbus hasn’t a competitor. Sell a dozen to Australia and a couple dozen to Japan. Come on guys, you still have the clout. Boeing is one of the last remaining blue chip exporters of you. Yeah, it’s not totally on topic, but I don’t have much to discuss about the geopolitics of this move. Other than nothing will really happen. Nobody will start shooting each other, let’s be real.

Interesting as there have been significant weight concerns in the design. For example, in 2008, the USN decided not to go with MAD on the aircraft for that very reason. Also the DOD testers have uncovered other issues. Google: “The Navy P-8A Poseidon Aircraft Needs Additional Critical Testing Before the Full-Rate Production ”

It’s a tad misleading to state that the Navy is developing the UCLASS UAV, since technically, no full scale development contract has been awarded yet. Bids are being prepared by the usual suspects, but unless sequestration is ended or substantially modified, there’s a significant chance that no UCLASS development contract will be awarded, or it could be downgraded to a technology development effort.

The magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) was NOT removed from the original P-8 design because of weight concerns. I was involved in the preliminary design review, critical design review, and production of the P-8A aircraft.

If you’re going to use “tyranny of distance” you ought to link to Geoffrey Blainey’s book, where I believe the phrase originated.

Japan claims to be in possession, but the islands remain uninhabited. Before China takes a more aggressive initiative in their claims, perhaps Japan should land some JGSDF troops on each, pitch some tents, and begin constructing fortifications and A2AD adequate for a permanent tripwire defense of the islands. Maybe put some big radar installations on the islands comparable to the Pave Paws radar installation on Leshan in Taiwan, and/or Aegis-ashore.

Excuse me there CE, but it is not China’s right to take airspace that has been internationsl for all these years and claming it to tbe theres. It would be like China extending their 12 mile limit to all of the China Sea as their own and making all other countries pay for it

Presumably sending B52s the F-35, LCS and P8 into China’s air defense identification zone is a ploy to generate sympathy from China for the state of our military. Maybe they will loan us some more cash to patch it up.

Because standing your ground in front of a steamroller doesn’t make you tough it just makes you stupid.

A MAD boom on an aircraft is a very legacy way of doing business. India will keep their MAD, but I suspect the new plan is drones and sonobuoys.

Finally a sensible comment!

If we don’t adhere to China’s “zones”, which are clearly within China’s territory, why should anyone adhere to ours., like say the Gulf of Mexico? How do we get to dictate the limits of another nation’s boundaries while being immune from the same treatment?

JRT & oblatt2: 1st I believe the japanese “constitition” prevents the deployment of military forces xcept 4 defense. I believe thats why the Japanese gov’t “purchased” the islands from its private owners. Forthwith I agree 100% w/ur proposal let the Japanese occupy & defend the islands. oblatt2: I think that Chinese president Xi has not yet consoldated his domestic polical power within China, what better way than with a common military rival; the US, & a still very much despised political & military rival; Japan…just my $.02… I thought that the B-52, unarmed fly over was a weak showing, how ’bout a few bones bombing the uninhabitated islands & a SSN firin’ a cruise missle at one of them. The only thing a bully understands is a smack in the puss!

You’re right, in the end it’s probably more about money than anything else.

Spot on JRT! Then they can sail that lemon of a “carrier” (hoping it will not break down at sea) & we can play some “games w/our SSN’s & bones & sat warfare capabilities, along with some “fly-bys” from the VFA on the GW!

what steam roller???, your sayin’ the Japanese Navy is no match 4 the Chinese “Navy” or their respective Air Forces??? & US, ROK & JDF submarines??? help me out, I’m a dumb ole ground-pounder still tryin’ 2 figure out the air-sea battle doctorine let alone the LCS & what 1000 USMC’s (no dis 2 the corps intended!) is do’in in Oz?

CE: well my dutchman friend u are correct about the military aspects, but what about the 200 mile economic development zone around these islands.…. what are the estimated sea-bed bedrock geology petrol reserves? That oil kinda puts a different spin on the value of “planting ur flag on them”, especially to China & Japan oil “thirsty” nations, not 2 mention the ability 2 control the adjancet sea lanes.…ehhh mijn vriend?

Oblatt2…I got a better idea.…a 1.5% excise tax on ALL Chinese imports, will kinda dampin’ their xports jus alittle. I doubt Chinese pres. XI Jinping-pong would risk his already shaky economy b 4 he’s even consolodated his ruling political power w/the PLA!

plus the 200 mile economic development zone for the seabed oil deposits!

True, I know. But realistically, would the US tolerate it if a much smaller neighbour just said these oceans are ours etc? Especially important for oil and strategic goals. No, the regional power, in the end, gets to say what’s what. We may not like it, but that’s just so. It’s unsustainable thinking that Japan or Korea wil have more power than Japan. I believe in international maritime laws, but hey, again, the US wouldn’t accept a fleet of Chinese aircraft carriers in the gulf of mexico either, or near san diego (13 miles away) or new york. It’s the same here. We, the west, made them rich, and this is one of the consequences.

The P-8 is a Boeing 737. Ive flown in htem and its a nice plane beats noisy turboprops by a mile. Welcome plane for her crews.

Right you are.…ahhh but, they need to keep a few P-3C Orions as ‘backup’ orl send ‘em to the USNR Aviation units.…..

However it’s OK for the USA to have a AIDZ of it’s own?

Couple things. It’s the details of the ADIZ. There’s is OTT in what they expect. EEZs are 200 miles up until it impacts someone else’s. They also intentionally set it over disputed territory. The Senakus are barely within it the way they set it. It’s go nothing to do with air defense.

The US splits its EEZ with Caribbean nations, even Cuba. Our ADIZ doesn’t extend over Cuban territory. It doesn’t extend over anyone’s territory.

Since the Netherlands has no effective armed forces with which it could respond, I guess that’s the response that you’re going to have to live with. You have no other choice but to roll over and play dead. The rights and wrongs of zones of influence have little to do with morality, rather it’s the extension of military power.

War is the continuation of diplomacy by other means, and so is this.


Good points…as usual, but Chinese aircraft carriers in the gulf???? Those ships have oil fired propulsion plants, It will take China a decade & considerable resources to develop, let alone project that kind of “fleet”. Imagine a defense pact of ROK, Japan, Taiwan, USA, Singapore & maybe the ozzies & Kiwi’s, quite alot of sea power…ehhh? Do you think that the US would allow their transit through the CZ? Its along way around Cape Horn, maybe in 20 years, if China still exists as it is today. goede nacht mijn vriend

Don’t we ever learn? It seems to me that on or about 01 Apr 2001 a Naval Recon aircraft was harrassed and
damaged by Chinese figher aircraft. The result: The damaged aircraft had to make an emergency landing in China. The crew was imprisioned and the aircraft taken apart bit by bit. The Chinese got all the technology and then told the American’s they could have their aircraft back. Seems to me the Chinese had a meeting and said we need new technology. The Americans are stupid. We will sucker them in and grab one of their Recon aircraft and get the new technology for nothing. What a bunch of idiots we have in the Pentagon. Let’s replace all of them with new 2nd Lieutenants.

hey blight…I thought MAD was a magazine w/Alfred E. on it. I swore I saw his picture on placards outside the U.S. Embassy demonstrations in Cario, bow tie & all & the “what me worry” motto, led by Ahmed aL-Zahwari’s brother in the crowd during the 9/11 demostrations last year, or did I have him confused with that guy in the movie that started that whole sheet storm????? .…

I surely hope that it turns out that the Republicans and neoliberals were right when they jumped to the conclusion that the PRC’s Central Committee would be and would remain as eager to whip the PRC’s peoples with the stick of unrestrained capitalism as the owners of those aforementioned Republicans and neoliberals were and remain.

‘Cuz if the day comes that the PRC decides that it has both the will to go hot and has been sold sufficient American dual-use technology and its means of manufacture to out-build the industry-as-arsenal of the United States, I’m pretty sure those AINOs who bought the Republicans and neoliberals in order to betray the American-people-as-“labor” and so these United States of America had already decided “Well, if worse comes to worst we can always go nuclear.”

Was it Japan’s right in 1936–41 to essentially do the same, though on sea & land? Nothing will happen? How about the 2001 downing of a US intel plane, and taking prisoners of the crew by Red China? Or the Russkies shooting down KAL Flights 007 & 902, killing a total of 371 persons? Flt 007 ‘was’ a 747 out of Anchorage, Alaska, w/ a US Congressman among the dead. Real planes shot-up, real Asians & Americans killed in large numbers. However, thank you for help in getting these facts recalled. El Paladin

We’re doing this –after– just telling civil aviation to “kow tou” to Red China’s ADZ demands? Sounds like another ‘Red Line in the Sand’ that,.…isn’t. Not to mention, telling them we’re flying unarmed warplanes there, is just as ‘brilliant’, as confiscating cartridges from weapons of our AD Mex. Border troops, then declaring the AO ‘safe’, and removing them completely; leaving the Border Patrol to fire bean-bag rounds, while the enemy flies aircraft, and sports RPG’s; both across, and now inside domestic, terror cells. The P-8’s, while fine picket aircraft, are too little, and far too, late. It’s like FDR in 1941, sending the US 26th Cav. Philippine Scouts, Garand rifles, and a laughable few, Stuart tanks, and AA crews. Once again, this will NOT end well, and is purposeful, as the dirty deals with the Taliban, and Muslim Brotherhood. El Paladin

I think some lessons have been learned, I don’t think that will happend again.

Don’t forget the Vincennes.

True, but we’re only a small country. And no, morality in the end has very little to do with geopolitics/zones of influence. However, if we remain objective, we can, through analysis of the word morality, point out an agressor. Not that the US is that, but there is indeed one party who’s navy is at the other end of the globe, and the other party just putting a navy on it’s own doorstep. Like I said, when in 30 years the Chinese have an entire navy in the US west and eastcoast, would that get the same reaction in the US? As if it’s okay, because they’re more powerful now?

Thanks KrazyCOL, good post. No the Chinese can barely protect their own waters, let alone assert influence near US shores. It was hypothetical. I don’t think China will ever try/do that, even when their navy will become the biggest or second biggest. They’re more a defensive nation and/or regional. Yes that defense pact is now, and has been for some time, actively been pursued by the US and their allies. But in the end the age old saying will remain: if goods don’t cross the borders, soldiers will. So China and those mentioned countries like Japan/Korea etc will eventually become ‘friends’, albeit friends with skepticism, because their trade volume etc will be so vast. You just can’t kill your employer/employee, unless you watch horrible bosses:p

Or the US who shot down a Iranian jetliner? These things happened in the cold war. The US and the Soviet were declared enemies, and the US/West were decidedly superior in economic terms, the Commies didn’t even come close. Now the roles seem to have turned. The entire world is trading with China, with the US being nr 1 in trade with them (and deficits). This is a vastly different situation than with the Soviets, who were isolated pretty much. How much tension can there be beteween the biggest trading partners? Exactly. War would be economic suicide, and unwinnable anyway. So I don’t ever see tensions escalating.

The hole business looks contrived to me. Those who this administration’s national strategy is the greatest thing since Eisenhower will be delighted by a reprise of the Quemoy-Matsu crisis. But seriously, what of “presence” is a pack of ASW aircraft ? Is the Chinese conventional sub force the threat we’re looking for ? The bleating of the usual subjects on DoD Buzz notwithstanding, this is a very mild sort of sabre rattling.

what is next, China will claim Japan, the Phillipines and Tiawan as it territory, Japan has controled this area for years. you say just give it to China???

Its not the actual land that they are interested in, its the petro that under the water.

When you say “which are clearly within China’s territory”, you mean exactly in the way NOT recognized by the UN or any nation, right?

By the way, the US only claims an EEZ over the northern area of the Gulf of Mexico. If we were China we’d be grabbing atolls in the Caribbean and claiming everything down to the coast of Colombia.

That EP-3 was NEVER to land in an unfriendly country and the crew knew it when they signed on. Although the Aircraft Commander received accolades in public for his “outstanding” airmanship in saving the crew and aircraft behind the scenes his Navy career was trashed as it should have been.

Suffice to say, every other ELINT aircraft during the cold war that encountered Soviet air defense, either successfully escaped when bounced, or was destroyed (and written off as lost in a training accident).

They would predictably retaliate with a tariff on the few goods they haven’t been able to duplicate yet.

If you see preferential post-tariff treatment for industrial-sized turbines and aircraft engines, then don’t color me surprised. Yeah, they won’t tariff those, they want Americans to sell as many as possible to the PRC, and then build a factory locally…yum, yum.

because we can I hope it says that way

China’s right? China never laid claim to these islands that is disputing with Japan and the Philippines. Until they decided it had the minerals that it needs. Wake up people. Everything has a purpose, if it doesn’t no one wants it.

“It wasn’t the declaration of the ADIZ that actually was destabilizing,” said Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, America’s highest-ranking military officer. “It was their assertion that they would cause all aircraft entering the ADIZ to report regardless of whether they were intending to enter into the sovereign airspace of China. And that is destabilizing.” That’s a change from just a few days ago, when U.S. Vice President Joe Biden demanded that China take back its declaration of the zone. And it’s another demonstration that China’s recent decisions have forced the United States to tread carefully — http://​killerapps​.foreignpolicy​.com/​p​o​s​t​s​/​2​0​1​3​/12

America, what a bunch of pussies. And we wouldn’t even look so bad if we hadn’t started this whole thing off with that B-52 flyby. B-52’s, f’ing antiques. This is so far from being the country I grew up in I don’t even recognize it anymore.

that’s a totally different situation.…the aircraft was i.d’d as a war plane in error, but the Iranians’ ignored 3 communications to change course…& there was photographic evidence that victims bodies floating in sea were naked, sugesting that the plane was loaded with cadavers & flown by suicide pilots. I don’t put ANYTHING past the Iranians, 4 jeez shakes they used 10 year old boys and marched them through minefields during the Iraq/Iranian war, those were their OWN PEOPLE & CHILDREN at that!!!! Their the mad dogs of the middle east.

thats a good post CE, China & Japan have ALWAYS been regional rivals.. But China is a riddle wrapped in a lie. They report phoney GDP #‘s, post “front” companies on NYSE/Euronext & just ripped people off who invest in them. They routinely hack our computer systems & steal intellectually property. They steal mil. tech & reverse engineer it, just ask ole Vlad about that one, and on & on it goes. The scareist are their “ghost” cities…empty cities totally complete, except for workers who can’t afford the housing prices making $8USD/day!

I firmly believe, as told to me by an ozzie, that China needs access to US markets more than we need their products. They import approx 40% of their food…how bout a 5% export excise tax on grain to China?

Funny thing is, everyone on the contractor side of that fiasco got a promotion. One psycho even made it as far as company VP at Lockheed. What a joke.

that makes two of US Dfens! POTUS Obama’s foreign policy, what ever it is, has cost this nations its prestige around the world…when the ozzies have to contemplate whether or not to allow more USMC’s in country…well that speaks for itself, the ‘England of the Pacific” sitting on the fence & PM Cameroon’s slick vote in the house of parliment…on Syria, He didn’t even have all of his own PARTIES MP’s voting with him, he out smarted POTUS Obama right under is own nose.…… this is the begiing of the end!


California supplies a great deal of the world’s rice…and it’s presumably heavy-metal-poisoning free, unlike whatever’s “grown locally” in the People’s Republic.

There is more to it than that. The key point is that both Japan and China want to control exploitation of those petro resources under the water within an economic exclusion zone (EEZ) which extends 200 miles outward from a coastal baseline which is established along the mean low water spring tide line (MLWS) of the countries shoreline. Possession of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands can be used to extend Japan’s or China’s EEZ.

For much the same reason, in the South China Sea, China wants control of the Paracel Islands, the Spratly Islands, Scarborough Reef, Truro Shoal, etc. They get control of a larger EEZ that covers most of the SCS. Gaining that control is part of China’s effort toward becoming a regional hegemon.

If we are actually setting aside the bias, our navy being over seas is hardly a new development. It is enshrined in the US constitution the notion of free and open navigation on the high seas. Piracy is actually listed as a crime in the US constitution, not some law that was made, the act of piracy itself is in our constitution. The point being freedom on the high seas is a bedrock pillar of the US recognized by the founding fathers as critical to the new republic.

Our navy doesn’t enter anyone’s territorial waters where it isn’t invited or we aren’t waging war.

Our ADIZ does not cross into anyone’s sovereign territory. China intentionally set this one over the Senakus on purpose. China has intentionally set it over South Korean territorial claims, so in regards to who the aggressor is that’s crystal clear with no bias at all, it is China.

The Chinese have engaged in a consistent pattern of bullying of regional governments. They completely dropped the ball on the Philippines typhoon and missed a golden opp for some great press.

Their actions are buffoonish at best and the real issue is that this reckless heavy handed duncery could lead to miscalculations that lead to war. I agree the financials make that seem like lunacy but then again pissing off every nation in the region where you live is exactly what they are doing. That’s isn’t great financial thinking either so counting on them to make smart rational logical decisions based on finances might be a fool’s paradise.

It’s too bad we couldn’t do that with OBAMA CARE…That would definately take China Down !!!

Step one: move oil rig outside Senkakus
Step two: slant drill in the ADIZ

In Fallout, the last oil deposit in the world was somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Hmm.

blight: this is all part of a well planned, funded & thought-out strategy of China expanding, “an inch at a time” of its control of the sea lanes adjancet to its shores, making a grab for the sea bed oil & gas resources, & expanding its militaries ability to intimidate the smaller countries of S.E. Asia, & push back the air-space & sea lane claims of the ROK & Japan…plain & simple. This administration’s foregin policy (strategy) the “pivot to Asia” & the “air-sea battle doctrine”.…… well 2 b honest I haven’t got a fluckin clue what it all adds up to… a once great Navy now made up of billion dollat Al ship???, flag officers & “Birds” coming under criminal indictments what seems like weekly, the F-35 debacle, the Ford class, which if current cost over-runs continue will leave enough $$ just 4 2.…. where is the country I grew up in & fought 4???? someone help me find it????? Please!

once agin Blight u nailed it!…but in my book the only real manufacturing base & generator of inventiveness left is American aerospace.…plain & simple!

I don’t doubt the ruthlessness of the Iranians, but they weren’t the ones who blew up the towers. Those would be the Saudis, our “friends.”

China published a map in the 50s that acknowledged Japan’s claim to them by using the name Senkaku, the Japanese name, not Diaoyu, the Chinese name for the islands on this map. Why now make a land grab?

Does this mean it won’t be able to detect nuclear submarines?

My grandfather lost his watch twenty or so years ago, he gave up looking for it after about 15 years. Now he saw his watch on someone who was wearing it. Now he wants it back, the person wearing says he won it fair and square in a poker game. Does the man wear his watch just hand it back or do the two fight to see who gets the watch? Better yet does he steal it back? China is exhausting its natural resources and this is part of their lust to feed their MFG machine.

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