Navy’s Advanced Aerial Sensor Deployed on P-8As to Western Pacific

Patrol Squadron 45 personnel prepare to launch a P8-A Poseidon during exercise Cobra Gold in Thailand in February. The squadron, during an eight-month deployment to the western Pacific, deployed the Navy’s Advanced Aerial Sensor aboard its Poseidon aircraft. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Thomas A. Higgins

ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Navy’s Advanced Aerial Sensor (AAS) has been deployed to the western Pacific, according to a release from the squadron that deployed the AAS on its P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft. 

Patrol Squadron 45 (VP-45), based out of Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, returned May 29 from an eight-month deployment to the western Pacific in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet. In a June 2 release announcing the return, the squadron noted its role in deploying the new radar system. 

“VP-45 had the task of being the Navy’s first global force-managed squadron to deploy the [AAS] aircraft for theater [anti-submarine warfare],” the release said. 

“Aircrew and maintenance accelerated the timeline on AAS’ role in the theater, helping operational planners prepare future deployments,” VP-45 Cmdr. Paul Nickell said in the release. “VP-45 maintainers executed over 13,000 man hours, ensuring every mission succeeded.” 

The APS-154 AAS is a development of the P-3C’s APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System for the P-8A Poseidon. The AAS is solid-state, wide-aperture, active electronically scanned array radar housed in a long pod under the fuselage. The sensor is designed to provide standoff detection and tracking of moving targets and high-resolution ground mapping. Flight tests on the first P-8A test aircraft began in April 2014. 

During its deployment, VP-45 conducted maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), theater security cooperation and anti-submarine warfare missions. The squadron flew more than 5,000 flight hours during more than 875 sorties. The squadron operated from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to northern Japan, down to southern Australia and across several Asia-pacific nations, the release said. 

The squadron also received aerial refueling on some flights, including on one that allowed for the first long-range, persistent ASW event that spanned half the 7th Fleet’s area of operations.