Cruise ship disaster movie memories stoked as US Navy names Boeing P-8A after Greek sea god Poseidon

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The US Navy's has risked unflattering comparisons by baptising the Boeing P-8A multi-mission maritime aircraft Poseidon.

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) yesterday announced that the P-8A's common name will be that of the Greek god of the sea. However, the name is synonymous in many people's heads with the 1972 disaster movie, The Poseidon Adventure in which a luxury cruise ship is hit by a tsunami.

The USN's naming protocol maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft have been taken from Greek mythology. The P-8A’s predecessors were the P-2 Neptune and P-3C Orion, Poseidon's predecessor.

“As with everything we do, we solicited inputs from the end-user to determine the best name for the P-8A,” says Capt Joe Rixey, NAVAIR’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft programme manager. “We are very excited to announce Poseidon as the identification for this essential weapon system that the warfighter will use to patrol and protect the open waters well into the 21st century.”

The Poseidon Adventure is based on a 1969 novel by Paul Gallico and was remade last year as Poseidon starring Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas and Jacinda Barrett.

The P-8A programme is currently in the detailed design phase of system design and development. Initial operating capability is scheduled for 2013 with full operational capability planned for 2019.