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Boeing P-8A Poseidon Deployed To Search For Malaysia Flight

posted 21 Mar 2014, 11:58 by Mpelembe   [ updated 21 Mar 2014, 11:58 ]

Malaysia (Next Media) -   The U.S. Navy has sent its premier surveillance plane to join in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

The $35-billion Boeing P-8A Poseidon, originally designed to find and sink submarine ships, was first sent to Kuala Lumpur from Okinawa, where six other Poseidons are stationed. From Malaysia, the plane took off to patrol the eastern Indian Ocean.

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The P-8A is fitted with a maritime radar at its nose, enabling all-weather imaging and classification of ships and submarines. The plane is also equipped with electro-optical and infrared sensors capable of heat detection. A magnetic detector at the tail of the plane serves to identify metallic objects in the ocean by picking up disturbances in the magnetic field.

Typically, a creeping line search pattern is employed when the search area is large while an expanding square search pattern is used when the search target is believed to be in a small area.

The P-8A is equipped with a number of armaments, including the AGM-88 Harpoon anti-ship missile, but will conduct the Malaysian flight search unarmed.

Three Australian and two Japanese surveillance P-3 Orion ships joined the P-8A in the search. A Norwegian merchant ship was also sent to the area on Thursday (March 20) with more ships from the British and the Australian navies to follow over the weekend.


International Business Times, Naval Technology