China vs. Japan: Will Boeing's New Submarine-Destroying Jet Get Battle Tested?

P-8A Poseidon. Photo: Boeing. 

Japan and China are anything but friendly, but tensions escalated further following China's recent declaration of a maritime air defense zone over the East China Sea. This move also increased tensions between China and the U.S., and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. military wont adhere to the guidelines of the Chinese-described air-defense zone.

While this situation isn't the best news, it has provided Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) with the opportunity to show off its new submarine-hunting P-8A Poseidon aircraft. Here's what you need to know.

Poseidon takes on the East Seas
Back in January, Boeing delivered the last of its low-rate initial production P-8As to the Navy. Consequently, the Navy's recent deployment of the P-8As to Japan is the first deployment for this aircraft. Moreover, while this deployment is part of a scheduled deployment and isn't the result of escalating tension in that region, it gives the P-8A a chance to prove itself. Capt. Mike Parker, commander, Task Force 72, told DoD Buzz: "We will demonstrate the ability of the P-8A to operate effectively alongside P-3C during high-tempo deployed operations. I also look forward to the P-8A integrating seamlessly with our international partners and allies -- our interoperability will only get better with Poseidon."

P-8A. Photo: Boeing.

According to Boeing, the P-8A is a next-generation, "long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime, and littoral operations." More importantly, the P-8A has next-gen sensors, which will help improve intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and help actively mitigate the growing threat of next-gen submarines.

According to DoD Buzz, Rear Adm. Matt Carter, commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, said: "The number of submarines in the world is increasing rapidly. Other countries are either building or purchasing advanced, quiet, and extremely hard to find submarines, and we need to be able to match that technology to be able to detect them."

Accordingly, if the P-8A proves itself capable of handling this growing threat, Boeing could expect additional orders from America's allies. This would be great news for Boeing, as well as Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC  ) , which provides the directional infrared countermeasures system and the electronic support measures system, Raytheon (NYSE: RTN  ) , which provides the upgraded AN/APY-10 maritime surveillance radar and signals intelligence solutions, and General Electric's (NYSE: GE  ) Aviation, which supplies flight-management and stores-management systems.

What to watch
Right now, the Navy plans on purchasing 117 P-8As to replace the P-C3, and India placed an order for eight P-8Is, a derivative of the P-8A designed specifically for the Indian navy. Both of these orders are worth a significant amount of money, but it's only the beginning of what Boeing could expect if the P-8A does well in the East Seas. Further, while the escalating tension between Japan and China isn't great, it does give Boeing a chance to demonstrate the ability of the P-8A. Considering the P-8A is already worth billions for Boeing, anything that showcases its ability, and results in orders, is great news for the company.

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Read/Post Comments (21) | Recommend This Article (34)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 1:10 PM, Rolland wrote:

    Well I certainly know of the Japanese being ruthless to our GI's during WWII. I remember history and the Japanese being ruthless to the Chinese. I don't ever remember the Chinese doing anything to the USA except to protect their neighbor Korea. Further more I don't like the way the Japanese do their whaling. Further more they are very prejudiced against visitors to Japan from many accounts that I have heard. If we have to pick sides I would pick China. Shame on them for having their own interests in their back yard.

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 1:27 PM, metou wrote:

    yeah well you better not be selling them to china

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 1:51 PM, rocket7777 wrote:

    P8A sound like potentially very useful plane unlike totally useless pork F35A. They know once it is out, not too many people will buy so keep on delaying and increasing R&D cost. Once different frequency radar are used, it becomes glorified F16 class.

    Propaganda machine is working well so people need to actively learn true history.

    http://wp.me/P43M0E-2H USA, Japan, Korea used a military prostitution and had atrocities.

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 2:02 PM, Doglover wrote:

    japan will eventually rage a retaliation war against the US. The right time has not come yet.

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 2:15 PM, bmmohio wrote:

    The F35 is actually getting cheaper. Stealth is only one part of its mission ability. I am more worried about the next technology revolution that is going to make most of the worlds arsenal look like a steamboat in five years. Lets not beat the war drums anytime soon. China & Japan just needs to learn to get along with their neighbors.

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 3:36 PM, Tyeward wrote:

    I still think that a Navy version of the Apache would be a really good idea. Over open water, it has the ability to fly under radar and could be configured to carry quite a few weapons that could either cripple a submarine or destroyer, or even possibly take it out. Something to think about Big B and Navy:-)

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 3:42 PM, brianpdx wrote:

    Japan a "vicious barking animal"? Sounds like inaccurate hyperbole to me. Japan is our closest allied power in the region. China is making ridiculous moves and claims in both the South and East China Seas against many countries who would have a difficult time matching up militarily without the US. Vietnam would give the Chinese a run for their money as would South Korea. The F35 and P8 will be critical to keeping China on their leash. As will the next generation of Aircraft Carriers, subs and surface ships.

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 5:33 PM, ElBearsidente wrote:

    Jaybirdbird, your argumentation is laughable, at best.

    Shall I remind of how China invaded Tibet and keeps occupying it? How China attacked India over so called "disputed territory" (and regularly invades said territory)? How China invaded Vietnam, but was thrown out by the battle hardened and experienced Vietnamese in the 70s?

    The whaling? Really? That's your gripe? Not China sending tanks against peaceful protestors? Not concentration camps and constant human rights violations in China?

    As for Japanese being prejudiced against foreign visitors... you might want to get there yourself and see that these claims are generally made by stupid people who expect Japan to be like their own country.

    Doglover, Japan has more free speech and a better democratic understanding than the US and the EU. Your badly informed theory, which is solely based on nonsense, won't happen.

    China is not only threatening Japan. The junta in Beijing has similar issues with other countries. Those other countries have realized some time ago that the real threat in Asia is fascist China. Some of these governments (namely Indonesia and Singapore) have openly called on Japan to show more strength against Chinese aggression.

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 7:11 PM, JohnLone wrote:

    China is no doubt a serious threat to Asia Pacific stability and security. We are not only provide surveillance and ani-submarine hunters but we must provide lethal hardware come those come with it to our allies and friends to protect their own territorial waters and helping to safeguard international sea lanes and the airspace over them. The chinese is growing bolder day by day, they have recently harassed our DDG63 missile cruiser on the international high sea.

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 8:25 PM, geoJane wrote:

    Oh man, Motley Fool, are you serious? This was a bummer headline to read right off the bat, I'm sorry.

    It's clear there's simply too much 'us vs them' antagonistic banter and provocative rhetoric flying around these days, from all sides.

    Why this seemingly combative tone and easily perceived cheerleading for clash and arms races?

    Isn't there enough of that negative energy being thrown around lately already?

    Let's perhaps instead call for a 2014 resolution to tone down the rhetoric universally and dial down the us-vs-them excitement level a notch.

    There flat out needs to be more tighter correlation between talking about cooperation and de-escalation, and action. Thanks and God speed.

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 9:44 PM, tom08 wrote:

    Old fashioned dominance. I can't blame the Chinese for arming themselves.

    They got very few friends. Americans are caught spying from the air. Measuring water dephts at Hanan Island for a possible invasion later on.The attitude seems to be "Let's tak'em out sooner rather

    then later before they get too strong.It seems the world would like to see a China weak and imploding, instead giving China their rightful place in world affairs.In todays world it's a very risky undertaking,that could backfire. Remember how WWI started,when Germany was drawn in, because they were allied to the Austrians.

    Let.s hope, that cooler heads will prevail.

    In1945 a line was drawn in the sand what is allowable and what is not. We did very well since.

    But a new generation of leaders seems to be in an apprenticeship.

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 11:40 PM, joeusa wrote:

    @doglover…clearly you've never been to Japan or met an actual Japanese person before. I've been stationed in Japan over ten years. Japanese are the most peaceful and respectful people I've ever encountered. Almost docile. Canada is more likely to rage a war against us than Japan. Get real dude! It's staggering to hear people spout racist BS about the Japanese. The WW2 days are LOOOONG over man. They've changed…a complete 180 degrees. Also, Japanese are the ONLY people on this planet who actually like America!!! They are the only friends we've got. You should appreciate that!

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2013, at 7:38 AM, Grandpastu wrote:

    So Boeing rewards its investors for promoting the manufacture and sales of the P-8? No wonder the Republicans are so fond of wars!

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2013, at 7:46 AM, ledzeppelinfive wrote:

    Comparing communist China, a country that holds no value on human rights to a democratic Japan is a laughable. Illegal Whaling? What are you people on crack?

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2013, at 10:09 AM, masterg5966 wrote:

    Jaybird, your comments show you know very little about history. True, the Japanese actions toward enemies were brutal and atrocious, but that was under a long dead way of life. You say China was only protecting it's neighbor North Korea? As the Chinese and Russians were behind N. Korea's invasion of the south, I would love to know how you came to this conclusion. The Chinese get its technology by stealing from the West. To this day, Japan has not built up its armed forces because of the bar we put on them immediately after WWII. You need to re-evaluate you information Jaybird.

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2013, at 7:50 PM, parkerp01 wrote:

    First things first, allow Japan to rearm itself. If and when war comes it should be them fighting it. Yes we have an agreement to help them but Japan could be pummeled by the time we could bring enough forces to repelled China. We are not talking about a small military here. Also I don't think our ships and subs should be caught so far from home in a battle with a foe whom may have or not have the capabilities to take them out. I think this thing has the greatest chance of going nuclear. Everybody loses. Give a thought to the fact that this could be a trap. If a lot of Asia nations that do businesse with us are still friendly to us. Then give them what they need to at least give the Chinese a black eye. We have been through several wars lately. Technical advice and equipment is what they need right now. And the right to decide their own destiny. George Washington warned against this very same thing that we are doing. Fighting wars for other countries to the determent of our own safety. History will prove that RIchard Nixon's trip to China was the wrong thing for the world, he should have let sleeping Dragons sleep.

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2013, at 7:53 PM, Falamu wrote:

    AWESOME, God bless Japan, from a Chinese person!

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2013, at 8:34 PM, prosbong wrote:

    I don't believed in a new technology weapon. Vietcong beat da chit out of USA, France, and china with a deer hunter rifle and flip flop shoe.

  • Report this Comment On December 23, 2013, at 5:44 AM, 76Patriots wrote:

    I see, likely, China's internet posting force is out doing their job. I don;t blame China for its Internet bulletin board posting 'team',

    I guess what i should say is I hope some of the posting is based on it being someone's job versus actual thought. I am mildly impressed with the tactic of using WWII to try and make Japan the U.S.'s enemy.

    I'll skip the particulars and cut right to the chase: USA's friend: Japan. Threat to the Far East region? China. Nations in the region who know this: Almost all. Nations who understand, including U.S., the economic power of China: Almost all. How Japan treats its people and others versus how China treats its people and others? Not even a conversation. Hopefully China soon get to even half of what Japan is.

    Number of people who don't understand this that are either uninformed, trying to 'grind an axe' or doing their job? All.

  • Report this Comment On December 23, 2013, at 10:28 AM, lobsang wrote:

    I can see there are right-wing Japanese on this forum. People seem to have myopic memory: Pearl Harbor, 2,800 Americans slaughtered; Rape of Nanking: 300,000 murdered in cold blood,....

    BTW, Tibet is China and the separatist Dalai Lama is just a Western stooge (and Japanese stooge too).

    Boeing just want to sell arms and 'let them kill each other'.

  • Report this Comment On December 23, 2013, at 10:29 AM, lobsang wrote:

    BTW, 76patriots, the Chinese are busy working to build up their country after 200 years of Western and Japanese humiliation. They don't have time to play Internet games with the likes of you.

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