A Training Trident for Poseidon: Laying the Foundation for t
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This news is classified in: Defense Military Aircraft MRO Simulation / Training

May 2, 2024

A Training Trident for Poseidon: Laying the Foundation for the P-8A Qualification of the German Navy's Technical Personnel

Roughly a year before the planned entry into service of the new maritime patrol aircraft, Lufthansa Technik recently began qualifying the first German Navy technicians for the support of the P-8A Poseidon. As part of their training courses at the subsidiary Lufthansa Technical Training (LTT), several subgroups have now already completed their practical training for the Boeing 737NG, the aircraft family on which the P-8A is based. The first on-the-job training courses at Lufthansa Technik Budapest have also already begun. After this, only a difference course will be required to be allowed to maintain the military P-8A Poseidon.

With services for thousands of civil Boeing 737s of all common models, Lufthansa Technik and numerous subsidiaries have built up enormous expertise for this aircraft type, which – due to many technical similarities – can also be applied to the maintenance of the P-8A as a military derivative. The company carries out the three different training courses – theoretical, practical and on-the-job – on behalf of the aircraft manufacturer and main contractor Boeing. ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH is also part of the German industrial team.

In the practical training for the Boeing 737NG (Next Generation), the technical personnel are gaining their first hands-on experience and qualifications in the so called line maintenance, the technical support during the daily operation of the aircraft. In training the first 24 technicians of the German Navy, LTT is thereby supported by its long-standing cooperation partner SunExpress. The trainings were carried out on various 737NGs of the leisure airline, a joint venture between Lufthansa Airlines and Turkish Airlines, at its maintenance base in Antalya.

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For the subsequent on-the-job training, however, the Navy's technical personnel have been relocating to Hungary since the end of January. As here the aircraft have to be available for much longer, and better access to their structure and subsystems is required, the base maintenance facility of Lufthansa Technik Budapest is responsible for this qualification step. In an intensive course with a generous mentoring ratio – one trainer takes care of just four trainees – the navy personnel acquire the necessary qualifications for more complex work steps, including the associated approval processes, for example for the repair and replacement of various sophisticated components and subsystems of the Boeing 737NG.

Lufthansa Technik's multi-stage training on the Boeing 737NG already provides the technicians with numerous basic qualifications for the future handling of the P-8A Poseidon. An additional P-8A differentiation training course will then provide training in the components specific to the military type and represents the final training step. In the future, the current training construct on the basic Boeing 737NG type will be replaced by a pure P-8A type training program for the initial qualification of Navy personnel, which will see all training elements performed on the “Poseidon” itself. The practical training in particular can then be completed on the German Navy's own aircraft.

“The Boeing 737 has been a regular guest in our hangars since the 1960s. Over the decades, we have been able to build up an almost unrivalled technical knowledge of this aircraft type, which we are now very happy to pass on to the technical personnel of the German Navy,” said Sascha Leitner, Head of Defense Programs at Lufthansa Technik. “In the efficient training courses within our network, we provide the technicians of the German Navy with all the necessary basics to quickly qualify for the P-8A as soon as the first aircraft arrives. A real training trident for Poseidon. As a proud part of the German P-8A industrial team, we want to contribute to making the introduction of the new maritime patrol aircraft as efficient as possible.”

“The early retraining of our personnel on the 737NG basic type enables us to gain initial knowledge and build up experience even before the first P-8A is delivered,” said Frigate Captain Alexander von Schledorn, responsible for training the technical personnel of the German naval aviators in Nordholz, Lower Saxony. “With the transition from the P-3C Orion to the P-8A Poseidon, we are taking a huge technological step. The technicians are already looking forward to working on the new P-8A soon.”

„We are thankful for Lufthansa Technik’s continued contributions in support of the Germany P-8A program,” said Conner Chavez, Director Government Services, Boeing Global Services. “These activities are critical steps as we work with our German P-8A Industry Team to provide the German Navy with the high value capability of the Poseidon and a local sustainment infrastructure.”

Lufthansa Technik
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