The US Navy has declared IOC – Initial Operating Capability – for Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon, clearing the martime patrol and reconassiance aircraft for operational service.
The milestone follows the first operational P-8 squadron, VP-16, recently completing its Operational Readiness Evaluation with the type. IOC means the aircraft can now be used for operational missions
“With the P-3 to P-8 transition well underway at Jacksonville, VP-16 is executing an Inter-Deployment Readiness Cycle and is on track to be the first P-8 squadron to deploy. VP-5 has completed their P-8 transition, and VP-45 has commenced P-8 transition after returning from deployment this past summer. In addition to leading the fleet transition process, VP-30 is also producing P-8 qualified replacement personnel for direct accession into P-8 qualified squadrons,” said Rear Adm Matt Carter, Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Group. “There has never been a greater need for a new patrol and reconnaissance aircraft now that the ageing P-3 is nearing the end of its life cycle. The P-8 is a true multi-mission platform, which will continue to provide us invaluable capabilities.”
Boeing so far has delivered 12 P-8s to the US Navy, with the type expected to be ordered by the RAAF as a partial replacement for its AP-3C Orions later this decade.