The Navy's drive to equip its units with new airframes took a step forward in 2009 with the electronic attack community gaining its first squadron of EA-18G Growlers, and the maritime patrol community's replacement for the aging P-3 Orion, the P-8A Poseidon, made its initial flight. In addition, the Navy's helicopter force continued its modernization with the addition of new MH-60R and MH-60S airframes into the inventory, and the Marine Corps sent the UH-1Y into battle for the first time. In the unmanned aircraft world, the RQ-4A Global Hawk Broad Area Maritime Surveillance-Demonstrator (BAMS-D) made its first Navy deployment, as did the MQ-8B Fire Scout rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
U.S. Naval Aviation and Weapon Development in Review
By Commander Jan C. Jacobs, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired)