NAS China Lake according to the Rocketeer II
China Lake receives P-8A Poseidon fuselage for testing
A P-8A Poseidon fuselage arrived at China Lake for testing in the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Survivability Lab in order verity the effectiveness of the aircraft's fire suppression system according to the Rocketeer II. The NAWCWD is the only live fire test range and evaluation of this scale. The P-8A Poseidon is the Navy's replacement of the P-3C Orion as a long-range anti-submarine warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad area operations. The fuselage arrived with all the parts except the fire suppression system, which had to be added. Actual testing will begin in late summer and will last 8 months. In 2005, live-fire testing was performed on the P-8 during its development phase. Data from those tests were used to design the fire suppression system.
China Lake will be testing the fuselage and each individual wing to verify the fire suppression system. The test will involve shooting the fuel tanks located on the wing and making sure the fire can be contained by the fire suppression system. A second test will decide whether the aircraft will remain flight worth if the wing is ever damaged by a ballistic missile. The testing will determine what the system is capable of and how well it will respond during an emergency. Paul Gorish, WSL, noted that the work being done will assess the vulnerabilities of the system and try to eliminate them. Gorish noted that the goal was to make that the military warfighters will return home safely.