Wednesday, December 09, 2015

ANSWERS: Submarine QOTW from 4 DEC 2015

Background

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)[6]
 
3 - Ultimately, the Navy plans to buy 108 P-8A aircraft from Boeing. What percentage of the service‚Äôs 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.

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