More P-8 Poseidons Headed Near the South China Sea

It’s no secret that there are several potential flash points around the world for military conflict between the USA and other powerful countries. You have the situation with Russian involvement in Ukraine that NATO is not happy about along with NATO and Russian forces sharing the skies over Syria. There has already been an incident between Russia and Turkey there. China has not been as aggressive a player, but their encroachment on their neighbors in the East China Sea and South China Sea has ruffled more than a few feathers.

While sanctions have been leveled against Russia to try to deter their aggressiveness, the United States has taken a different approach in the South China Sea and stepped up its military presence there. Part of that presence involves increased deployments of the sophisticated US Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft.

For years the US Navy has used P-3 Orion aircraft to hunt and track non-allied subs all over the world, but they are an aging aircraft whose time is coming to an end. The P-8’s have been designed as a replacement for the P-3’s and they are a significant upgrade in both intelligence gathering and attack capabilities. The pilots who fly it consider it to be a force multiplier and rave about the way it performs its duties. Establishing more of a presence with the P-8’s in the South China Sea adds to America’s firepower there and most certainly will get the attention of the Chinese Military.

P-8P-8 Capabilities

The aircraft has actually been designed using a modified version of a Boeing 737 commercial aircraft. It has slightly longer wings, can fly as high as 41,000 feet and can travel 4,500 miles without refueling.

Why is this aircraft a potential game changer in the region? It starts with its superior electronic intelligence gathering capabilities which are said to be some of the most sophisticated that are aboard any US aircraft. These include such things as a sophisticated all-weather radar system.

This aircraft is also no slouch when it comes to offensive and defensive capabilities either. It can launch cruise missiles and torpedoes and can defend itself from missile attacks with a vast array of countermeasures.

Singapore Agrees to Let the US Deploy P-8’s There

In one of the latest developments with the P-8’s in the region, Singapore has agreed to allow the deployment of two of them to the country. One is already there and another will be soon. This increases the USA’s ability to cover more territory in the region and to keep an eye on things. Coupled with missions out of the Philippines and Japan, these aircraft can cover almost the whole China Sea while gathering intelligence and being the advanced eye in the sky for Navy operations.

They may not be enough to act as a deterrent to China’s rapid island expansion campaign, but the P-8’s will surely make them think twice about using force anywhere in the region.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Craig Smith

Craig has been writing for several years but just recently made freelance writing a full time profession after leaving behind 26 years working in the swimming pool construction industry. He served four years in the US Air Force as an Imagery Interpreter Specialist in Okinawa, Japan and at SAC Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. As a staunch supporter of law enforcement personnel, emergency medical technicians, firemen, search and rescue personnel and those who serve in the military, Craig is proud to contribute to the US Patriot blog on their behalf.
Craig Smith

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