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Sat Jan 25, 2014, 10:24 AM

Boeing Surveillance Plane Not Yet Effective, U.S. Tester Finds


Boeing Co.'s new U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft is officially unveiled in this July 30, 2009 file photo, in Renton, Wash.

Boeing Surveillance Plane Not Yet Effective, U.S. Tester Finds
By Tony Capaccio January 23, 2014

A new Boeing Co. (BA:US) surveillance aircraft deployed to Japan last month isn't yet effective at hunting submarines or performing reconnaissance over large areas -- two of its main missions, the Pentagon's weapons tester found.

Flaws in the $35 billion program included the plane's radar performance, sensor integration and data transfer, Michael Gilmore, chief of the Pentagon testing office, wrote in his annual report on major weapons, which has yet to be released. He said the new P-8A Poseidon exhibited "all of the major deficiencies" identified in earlier exercises when subjected to more stressful realistic combat testing from September 2012 to March 2013.

"Many of these deficiencies" led Gilmore to determine that the P-8A "is not effective for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission and is not effective for wide area anti-submarine search," he said in a section of the report obtained by Bloomberg News. The Navy plans to conduct additional testing β€œto verify the correction of some deficiencies,” he wrote.

Gilmore's conclusions suggest the initial aircraft in the program -- which packs a modified Boeing 737-800 with radar and sensors -- aren't ready for deployment. Among its primary missions is tracking Chinese submarines. Six of the planes have been deployed to Japan supporting 7th Fleet maritime patrol operations at Naval Air Facility Atsugi as part of the U.S. strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific region.

unhappycamper comment: Another Boeing product that does not work as advertised.

Color me surprised. Not.

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