Boeing presented the first of six P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) on 3 February. Once in service, the P-8s will initially augment the RoKN’s eight Lockheed Martin P-3C/K Orion maritime patrol aircraft, before eventually replacing them. Aircraft 921 (tail number 230921, construction number 170023) was rolled out of the Boeing paint shop near Seattle in the livery of the Ron. With South Korea’s Foreign Military Sales procurement having been approved in September 2018, which the country signed in March 2020, deliveries are due to begin in 2023. The Republic of Korea Armed Forces has already established the 6th Air Wing’s maritime patrol aircraft squadron 61.
In May 2013, it was announced that was commencing a ?1 trillion procurement program to acquire up to 20 new ASW aircraft. On 26 June 2018, it was announced that Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) had selected the P-8 and would acquire six aircraft through the US Foreign Military Sales program. On 13 September 2018, the US state department stated it supported the sale of 6 P-8s and notified Congress. South Korea ordered six P-8As in March 2019 and is expected to be completed by June 2020. Once South Korea receives the new six P-8A aircraft from Boeing, the RoKN will have a total of 22 operable maritime patrol aircraft, including the eight P-3Cs and eight P-3CKs currently in service. In 2030, these P-3Cs and P-3CKs will be replaced by new aircraft.
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly Multimission Maritime Aircraft) is an American maritime patrol aircraft developed and produced by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX (but with 737-900 wings). It was developed for the United States Navy (USN). The P-8A Poseidon has been built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, GE Aviation, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Spirit AeroSystems. The P-8 operates in anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction roles. It is armed with torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons, can drop and monitor sonobuoys, and can operate
In U.S. service, the P-8A is complemented by the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) which provides continuous surveillance. In January 2015, BAE Systems was awarded a contract for the USN’s High Altitude ASW (HAASW) Unmanned Targeting Air System (UTAS) program to develop a sub-hunting UAV equipped with a MAD for launching from the P-8. Besides the Republic of Korea Navy, the P-8 is operated by the United States Navy, the Indian Navy (IN), the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF). It has also been ordered by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF), the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), and the German Navy.