Halldale Group Editor Marty Kauchak is being briefed on several key Boeing defense training programs. This is the first of his reports for MS&T.

Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon is finding increased favor with defense forces around the globe. Perry Yaw, Senior Manager, Business Development for Mobility and Surveillance, told MS&T and other media representatives that 183 P-8s are on order by eight customers around the globe. The retired Navy captain added that 149 Poseidons are in service with military forces. Boeing’s P-8 customer list includes: Australia, Germany, India, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, the UK and the US. 

The P-8 is a proven multi-mission, multi-domain aircraft with onboard systems supporting anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, ISR, stand-off precision targeting and strike, C4, over-the-horizon voice, chat and imagery transmission, search-and-rescue and humanitarian operations. The program is also receiving ever more capable training and learning systems.

The S&T Foundation 

Boeing and its P-8 customers are strengthening their programs’ training readiness foundations. 

CAE is a significant supplier of S&T systems and devices to P-8 customer nations. A July 2021 contract awarded to the Canadian-based company calls for the upgrade of maintenance trainers for the government of Australia. In another development, CAE is also on contract to provide an operational flight trainer to the New Zealand Air Force to help prepare aircrews to operate four Poseidons. The first P-8 for that nation is scheduled for delivery later this year. 

Boeing’s Yaw added that the soon-to-be Washington DC-based OEM recently announced its intent to pursue the Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA) program, offering its P-8s as a replacement for the RCAF’s legacy CP-140 fleet. Boeing’s industry team for this business pursuit includes a number of Canadian aerospace and defense companies, including CAE.

The retired Navy P-3 squadron commander also pointed out about 70% of P-8 aircrew competencies are supported by simulation, with the remaining 30% of skills and tasks learned and rehearsed onboard the aircraft. He noted that, for the US Navy, the P-8 training system can link program training audiences to ships, other aircraft and fleet exercises, enabling higher-fidelity, joint, distributed training. The focal points for US Navy P-8 training are at hubs in Jacksonville, Florida and Whidbey Island, Washington.

While Boeing touts its “one Boeing solution” for P-8 training readiness and other sustainment and support, Yaw envisions his P-8 customers seeing the potential of augmented reality and other enablers for maintenance training – for starters. “And there will be more live, virtual and constructive training in the future. The program is going that way,” the executive concluded.