skip to main content

South Korea receives three P-8A Poseidons

South Korea will handover six Boeing P-8A Poseidons to the RoKN at the end of June 2024. The aircraft pictured has the insignia of the RoKN's 611th Squadron, which is based at Pohang. (Republic of Korea Navy)

South Korea has acquired its first batch of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft after three aircraft were delivered on 19 June.

The aircraft arrived at the Republic of Korea Navy's (RoKN's) Naval Air Command base at Pohang, South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said. The three aircraft are part of a total order of six placed by South Korea in 2018 for its Maritime Patrol Aircraft-II (MPA-II) project.

The three remaining P-8As will be delivered on 30 June, DAPA said.

The aircraft will enhance South Korea's ability to detect and counter North Korea's submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), the agency said, adding that the “P-8A makes it possible for the RoKN to not only enhance its anti-submarine capabilities against North Korean submarines but also to carry out strengthened maritime aviation operations through swift response and expanded surveillance capabilities”.

The six aircraft will be handed over to Naval Air Command on 4 July. The P-8As will subsequently spend one year in operational evaluation, including additional pilot training, and maritime live-fire exercises to gauge operational capabilities before entering service in mid-2025, according to DAPA.

The new P-8As will augment the RoKN's existing fleet of eight Lockheed P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, which were acquired from 1995 and upgraded to the ‘CK' standard in 2010. In 2018 the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said that the acquisition of the P-8As would allow South Korea to “modernise and sustain” its maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) capability “for the next 30 years”.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...