ANSWERS: Submarine QOTW from 4 DEC 2015
Related information, photo(s) and links for questions are found in the original posting.
Questions of the Week with ANSWERS:
1 - What are this aircraft's stated missions? ANS: "
The P-8A Poseidon is designed to replace the P-3C Orion as a long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations." - Naval Air Siystems Command
2 - How much (approximately) does each unit cost before add-ons? ANS: "US$171.6 million" (fly-away cost FY2015)
3 - Ultimately, the Navy plans to buy 108 P-8A aircraft from Boeing. What percentage of the service’s fleet of P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, which are approaching the end of operational life are slated for replacement? ANS: As of October 2015, NavAir [ibid.] projected a P-8A inventory of 117 units. Since the fleet of P-3C Orions being replaced numbers 196 units about 60 % of the Orion fleet (117/196 = 60%) is to be replaced.
4 - What operation is executed in the photo above? ANS: Flares are seen being deployed from the P-8A in a test.
5 - What is the purpose of the incendiaries shown? ANS: The photo displays deployment of countermeasures incendiaries as decoys for heat-seeking anti-airccraft missiles.
6 - How does the aircraft defend itself? ANS: It may drop depth charges or launch torpedoes. P-8s may also launch Harpoon or SLAM-ER missiles and other weapons.
7 - Aircraft missile warning systems typically operate at ultraviolet wavelengths to detect plumes of incoming heat-seeking missiles. Ultraviolet sensors, however, are best at detection of relatively older missiles. Why? ANS: Ultraviolet sensors are best a detecting missiles with bright exhaust plumes. Infrared sensors, on the other hand, can be confused by high-clutter backgrounds.
8 - What modernized development is used to thwart newer missiles in a more chaotic battle environment? ANS: P-8As have been/will be equipped with two-color infrared sensors by an AN/AAQ-24 Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system. According to Northrop Grumman, employing two separate electro-optical sensors in one system identifies contrasts between missile plume and background clutter to extend detection range against missiles with a wide range of missile propellants, providing crew with a potentially lengthened reaction time.
Brain Teaser Question (refers to 60% P-3C fleet replacement in #3): Since the quantity of international subs is increasing as the U.S. fleet is projected to decrease, how would you compensate for a significant lowering of the U.S. Navy's capability to detect potentially hostile submarines?
Submarines are always silent and strange.