Thursday, March 4, 2021

Royal Air Force receives its fifth Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft

The Royal Air Force has announced that the fifth Poseidon MRA Mk.1 submarine-hunter aircraft, touched down safe and sound at RAF Lossiemouth on 2 February.

As noted by the Royal Air Force, it’s the first time that an RAF Poseidon has been delivered straight from the Boeing factory, near Seattle, without making a stop en-route.

The aircraft, named Fulmar, flew directly from Boeing Field near Seattle.

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Its arrival represents another milestone in the development of Lossiemouth’s Maritime Patrol capability and it comes at a time of unprecedented submarine activity, close to UK waters. Poseidon MPA can react quickly to track potential threats over large areas of sea or ocean and defend our own submarine fleet.

The name Fulmar is a nod to RAF Lossiemouth’s Naval past. The Station was called HMS Fulmar, itself named after a hardy sea bird, between 1946 and 1972.

A Poseidon Commander said: “Monitoring and tracking all activity in seas around the United Kingdom is paramount to our security. The arrival of this latest aircraft helps to ensure that we have the continued capability to defend our waters and support our NATO partners.”

Boeing’s Poseidon MRA1 (P-8A) is a multi-role maritime patrol aircraft, equipped with sensors and weapons systems for anti-submarine warfare, as well as surveillance and search and rescue missions. It features an APY-10 radar for high-resolution mapping, an acoustic sensor system, an electro-optical / IR turret and electronic support measures (ESM).

The aircraft can also be armed with a weapons system that includes torpedoes for engaging sub-surface targets.

Nine Poseidon MRA Mk.1 aircraft have been ordered for the Royal Air Force and the addition of ZP805 takes the number on the fleet past the halfway mark. The UK Government has invested £470m overall in RAF Lossiemouth, which will future-proof Quick Reaction Alert and Maritime Patrol operations for many years to come.

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Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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