Tag Archives: P-8A Poseidon

Norwegian Poseidon

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) on November 18, 2021 accepted the first of five Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft that will be operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF).

P-8A Poseidon
Boeing delivers first P-8A Poseidon to Norway

«Norway is responsible for large maritime areas in a strategically important part of the world, and the new P-8A Poseidon will represent a tremendous improvement in our ability to both protect our sovereignty and understand developments in these areas. Today’s delivery of our first P-8A Poseidon is an important milestone in the modernization of Norway’s maritime patrol aircraft capability», said Mette Sørfonden, director general of the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency. «I’m very pleased that the NDMA will soon be able to provide the Norwegian Armed Forces with a whole new generation of aircraft that will play an important role in preserving our national security for many years to come».

Norway’s first P-8A Poseidon aircraft, named Vingtor, was delivered to the NDMA during a ceremony at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. The milestone comes four years after the NDMA entered into an agreement with the U.S. Navy for the P-8A Poseidon, and two years before the new aircraft are scheduled to begin taking over maritime patrol duties in Norway’s high north.

«We’re honored to provide this unmatched, multimission maritime patrol capability to Norway», said Stu Voboril, vice president and program manager, P-8 Poseidon Programs. «Norway joins seven other global customers that have selected or already operate the P-8 Poseidon and benefit greatly from its long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. We look forward to enhancing our continued and enduring partnership with the U.S. Navy and the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and supporting the future fleet’s sustainment and training needs».

Norway’s four remaining aircraft are all in advanced stages of production and will be delivered to the NDMA in 2022. The five P-8As will replace the RNoAF current fleet of six P-3 Orions and two DA-20 Jet Falcons and will be operated by 333 Squadron at Evenes Air Station.

Norwegian companies Nammo, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Andoya Space and Berget currently have agreements with Boeing that are part of a tailored industrial cooperation plan related to Norway’s acquisition of five P-8A Poseidon aircraft. Boeing continues to work with the NDMA and Norwegian industry to expand that plan and support economic growth throughout Norway.

The delivery to Norway also marks the 142nd P-8 Poseidon aircraft delivered to global customers, including the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Indian Navy and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. First deliveries to New Zealand, Korea and Germany will take place in 2022, 2023 and 2024 respectively.

To date, the global operating P-8 Poseidon fleet has amassed more than 400,000 mishap-free flight hours. The P-8 Poseidon is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. In addition, the P-8 Poseidon performs humanitarian and search and rescue missions around the globe.

Five P-8A for Germany

The U.S. Navy on September 28, 2021 awarded Boeing a production contract for five P-8A Poseidon aircraft for Germany. First deliveries are slated to begin in 2024 when the P-8A Poseidon will eventually replace Germany’s fleet of P-3C Orion aircraft.

P-8A Poseidon
Boeing Awarded Contract for Five P-8A Poseidon Aircraft for Germany

«We’re pleased to have finalized this sale to Germany and to expand our footprint in-country by bringing the P-8A Poseidon and its unique multi-mission capabilities to the German Navy», said Michael Hostetter, vice president, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, Germany. «The P-8 Poseidon will ensure the German Navy’s ability to perform long-range maritime surveillance missions and will play a pivotal role in the region by leveraging existing infrastructure in Europe and full interoperability with NATO’s most advanced assets».

German industry is a critical partner with the P-8A Poseidon program. By working with local partners, Boeing will provide support, training and maintenance solutions that will bring the highest operational availability to fulfill the German Navy’s missions. On June 17, Boeing signed agreements with ESG Elektroniksystem-und Logistik-GmbH and Lufthansa Technik AG to collaborate in systems integration, training, and sustainment work. German companies that currently supply parts for the P-8A Poseidon include Aircraft Philipp Group GmbH, Aljo Aluminium-Bau Jonuscheit GmbH and Nord-Micro GmbH.

«With strategic agreements and industry partnerships already in place, we stand ready to deliver a robust sustainment package for the German Navy’s P-8A Poseidon fleet», said Doctor Michael Haidinger, president, Boeing Germany, Central & Eastern Europe, Benelux and Nordics. «Together with the German Navy, the Federal Ministry of Defense and local industry, we will ensure maximum operational availability that will allow the German Navy to meet the full range of its maritime challenges».

Deployed around the world with more than 135 aircraft in service, and over 350,000 collective mishap free flight hours, the P-8A Poseidon will significantly advance Germany’s anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and search-and-rescue mission capabilities.

Germany is the eighth nation to have acquired the P-8A Poseidon, joining the United States, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Norway, Korea and New Zealand.

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs./12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,497 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs./85,820 kg

 

Maiden Flight

The first of five Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft for Norway performed its maiden flight yesterday, August 9. The aircraft took off at 10:03 a.m. Pacific time and flew for 2 hours, 24 minutes, reaching a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet/12,497 m during the flight from Renton Municipal Airport to Boeing Field in Seattle.

P-8A Poseidon
Norway’s First P-8A Poseidon Performs Maiden Flight

The first flight marks the next phase of the production cycle of this aircraft as it is moved to the Installation and Checkout facility, where mission systems will be installed and additional testing will take place before final delivery to the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) later this year.

«This inaugural flight is an important milestone for Norway, and the Boeing team remains committed to delivering the P-8 Poseidon fleet to the NDMA on schedule», said Christian Thomsen, P-8 Poseidon Europe program manager. «The P-8 Poseidon is a capability that will help Norway improve anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and search-and-rescue missions, in addition to fostering valuable regional collaboration and interoperability with NATO nations».

The five P-8As will eventually replace Norway’s current fleet of six P-3 Orions and three DA-20 Jet Falcons. The Royal Norwegian Air Force currently operates its P-3s from Andoya Air Station. With the introduction of the P-8s, flight operations will move to new facilities at Evenes Air Station.

To date, Boeing has delivered 136 P-8 Poseidon aircraft to the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Indian Navy and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. Norway is one of eight nations that have selected the P-8A Poseidon as their maritime patrol aircraft, along with the United States, India, Australia, the United Kingdom, Korea, New Zealand and Germany.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs./12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,497 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs./85,820 kg

 

Norwegian Poseidon

The first P-8A Poseidon aircraft for Norway on July 9, 2021 rolled out of the paint shop in Renton, in Royal Norwegian Air Force livery. Norway is one of eight nations to have acquired the P-8A Poseidon as their new multimission maritime patrol aircraft.

P-8A Poseidon
Norway’s First P-8A Poseidon Rolls Out of the Paint Shop

Recently, the air force revealed the names of its five P-8A Poseidon aircraft: Vingtor, Viking, Ulabrand, Hugin and Munin. The names are inspired by Norse mythology and continue a tradition of almost 80 years that started when the names Vingtor, Viking and Ulabrand were used on Norway’s PBY-5 Catalina maritime patrol aircraft in 1942. Since then, other maritime patrol aircraft operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force have carried those names, including its current P-3 Orion fleet, which will be replaced by the P-8 Poseidon.

Norway’s first P-8A Poseidon aircraft – Vingtor – will now return to the factory floor to be prepared for flight testing. First flight is scheduled for later this month, and mission systems will be installed on the aircraft after that.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs./12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs./85,820 kg

 

Norwegian Poseidon

The first P-8A Poseidon fuselage for Norway arrived on April 12, 2021 at Boeing facilities in Renton, Washington, from Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, marking a major milestone in the production of the first of five Poseidons for the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

P-8A Poseidon
Norway’s first P-8A Poseidon aircraft is moved from a rail car through the air to the first step of the assembly process, the Fuselage Systems Installation tool, in Renton, Washington (Boeing photo)

A derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation commercial aircraft, the P-8 Poseidon is first assembled at Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ 737 production line, where the fuselage receives additional wiring and systems needed to support military components, equipment and operation. The aircraft is then delivered to Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security unit for the installation of military systems, testing and delivery to military customers.

«Boeing uses a proven in-line production process to efficiently build the aircraft», said Christian Thomsen, P-8A Poseidon Europe program manager. «Implementing established best practices and common, commercial production-system tools enables the team to reduce flow time and cost while ensuring quality and on-time delivery to our customers».

Norway is expected to receive its first P-8 Poseidon later this year. In total, five P-8s will eventually replace Norway’s current fleet of six P-3 Orions and three DA-20 Jet Falcons and will provide advanced capabilities to maintain situational awareness in neighboring waters on and below the surface of the ocean.

To date, Boeing has delivered 104 P-8 Poseidon aircraft to the U.S. Navy and customers in Australia, India and the United Kingdom.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs./12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs./85,820 kg

 

Submarine Hunters

The U.S. Navy today awarded Boeing a $1.6 billion production contract for the next 11 P-8A Poseidon aircraft. Nine aircraft will join the U.S. Navy fleet and two will go to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a cooperative partner in the P-8A joint program since 2009. The contract brings the total number of U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft under contract to 128 and the RAAF total to 14.

P-8A Poseidon
A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft flies near Mount Rainier in Washington state (Boeing photo)

«The P-8A Poseidon continues to be an invaluable asset and these additional aircraft will help deliver expanded maritime patrol and reconnaissance capabilities to the fleet», said Captain Eric Gardner, program manager for the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Program Office.

The P-8A Poseidon is a long-range anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft used by the U.S Navy. It’s vital for intelligence gathering, surveillance reconnaissance and search and rescue. Deployed around the world, with 103 aircraft in service and more than 300,000 flight-hours, the P-8’s performance and reliability delivers confidence to customers operating in an uncertain world.

«We continue to hear feedback from deployed Navy squadrons who tell us the P-8A Poseidon is exceeding expectations», said Stu Voboril, vice president and program manager for Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon program. «Our focus is on delivering the world’s best maritime patrol aircraft. That only happens when teams truly collaborate, listen and focus on customer priorities».

The P-8 Poseidon is militarized with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture and commercial-like support for affordability. It’s the principal aircraft with the ability to detect and track submarines. The aircraft is modified to include a bomb bay and pylons for weapons. It has two weapons stations on each wing and can carry 129 sonobuoys. The aircraft is also fitted with an in-flight refueling system.

A military derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation airplane, the P-8 Poseidon combines the most advanced weapon system in the world with the cost advantages of the most popular airliner on the planet. The P-8 Poseidon shares 86% commonality with the commercial 737NG, providing enormous supply chain economies of scale in production and support.

The P-8 Poseidon has two variants: The P-8I, flown by the Indian Navy, and the P-8A Poseidon, flown by the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. The RAAF has acquired the Boeing aircraft through the Foreign Military Sales process and will receive a variant designed and produced for the U.S. Navy called the P-8A Poseidon.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs./12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs./85,820 kg

 

RFCM system

BAE Systems received a $4 million contract from the U.S. Navy to conduct a quick-turnaround demonstration of a new Radio Frequency CounterMeasure (RFCM) system for the P-8A Poseidon. The pod-mounted RFCM system is a leading-edge, lightweight, high-power system that will add a new self-protection capability to this next-generation U.S. Navy aircraft.

P8-A Poseidon
Image shows large P8-A Poseidon Navy aircraft in flight against a dusk sky with thin cloud coverage with attached AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy

«The ability to meet this unprecedented response time underscores our agility, focus on meeting customer needs, and our ultimate goal of protecting our warfighters», said Don Davidson, director of the Advanced Compact Electronic Warfare Solutions product line at BAE Systems. «A process that used to take 18 to 24 months has been scaled to five or six months, which is remarkable, as is deploying this new self-protection capability».

The rapid response is the result of collaboration among small focus teams who developed an innovative approach to the design and fabrication of the system’s mechanical parts. As a result, BAE Systems will design, build, integrate, and ship the RFCM system in approximately five months, followed by two months of flight testing on the P-8A Poseidon platform. Testing will begin early in 2021.

The RFCM system consists of a small form factor jammer, a high-powered amplifier and the AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy (FOTD).

Work on the contract will be performed at the company’s state-of-the-art facility in Nashua, New Hampshire.

AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy
AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy

 

AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy

The AN/ALE-55 subsystem consists of an on-board signal conditioning assembly and the FOTD. The signal conditioning assembly converts RF frequencies to light for transfer through the fiber-optic line. The system has two modes. In the primary mode, the onboard EW system detects and analyzes a threat, determines the appropriate response, and then sends that response down the line to the FOTD for transmission. The alternative back-up mode is an independent repeater. In this mode, the threat signal is detected, modulated, and then sent down the line to the FOTD. The system can interface with any on-board techniques generator, and can convert any technique. This broad capability enables the system to be installed on a variety of aircraft and to handle both today’s range of techniques and any developed to defeat future threats.

The AN/ALE-55 has been extensively flight-tested on a variety of aircraft, demonstrating robust aerodynamic performance and its ability to jam threats. The AN/ALE-55 is currently in full rate production with over 3,000 FOTDs delivered for U.S. and FMS customers.

Two more Poseidon

Air Force’s maritime patrol capability will be boosted with Australia set to acquire two more P-8A Poseidon surveillance and response aircraft, bringing the total fleet size to 14.

P-8A Poseidon
Two more P-8A Poseidon aircraft boosts maritime patrol capability

The Government has also approved sustainment funding for the current approved fleet of three MQ-4C Triton aircraft.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Honorable Linda Reynolds Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) said the announcement is part of the Morrison Government’s unprecedented $270 billion investment in defence capability over the next decade.

«Together, the P-8A Poseidon and the MQ-4C Triton will provide Australia with one of the most advanced maritime patrol and response capabilities in the world», Minister Reynolds said. «The P-8A Poseidon is a proven capability that will conduct tasks including anti-submarine warfare, maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and support to search and rescue missions. These additional aircraft will enhance Air Force’s flexibility to support multiple operations and will play an important role in ensuring Australia’s maritime region is secure for generations to come. The Morrison Government’s continued investment in the P-8A Poseidon program is also creating more Australian jobs and opportunities for Australian small businesses. Several Australian companies are already completing work for Boeing Defence Australia, and industry investment including facilities works is over $1 billion».

The additional P-8A Poseidon aircraft are to be purchased through our existing Cooperative Program with the United States Navy.

Minister Reynolds said being part of the Cooperative Program with the United States Navy allows Australia to share in the benefits of their technical expertise and divide project costs.

«Defence is committed to this cooperative approach; together we are striving to develop this military technology to the highest standards», Minister Reynolds said.

The P-8A Poseidon is a highly versatile, long endurance platform capable of a range of mission types including Maritime Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance and striking targets above and below the ocean’s surface.

The planned integration of the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) into Air Force capability will also allow it to strike adversary surface vessels at significantly increased ranges.

P-8A
Based at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Edinburgh, the P-8A Poseidon is an important part of Australia’s future maritime patrol and response strategy

 

P-8A Poseidon

The P-8A Poseidon has advanced sensors and mission systems, including a state-of-the-art multi-role radar, high-definition cameras, and an acoustic system with four times the processing capacity of the AP-3C Orions.

The P-8A Poseidon is built specifically as a military aircraft. It is based on the proven commercial designs of Boeing’s 737-800 fuselage, but has been substantially modified to include:

  • a weapons bay;
  • under wing and under fuselage hard points for weapons;
  • increased strengthening for low level (down to 200 feet/61 m) operations and high angle turns.

The P-8A Poseidon aircraft has an extensive communications system including radios and data links across Very High Frequency (VHF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF), High Frequency (HF) and SATellite COMmunications (SATCOM).

An internal fuel capacity of almost 34 tonnes/74,957 lbs. allows the P-8A Poseidon to conduct low level anti-submarine warfare missions at a distance of greater than 2,000 kilometres/1,243 miles/1,080 NM from base. The P-8A Poseidon will be compatible for air-to-air refueling with the Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).

Poseidon
A RAAF P-8A Poseidon supports sea trials for the HMAS Hobart (DDG-39) in the Gulf St Vincent off the coast of Adelaide

 

Specifications

Manufacturer Boeing
Role Maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and response
Crew Pilot, co-pilot, mission specialists
Engine Two CFM56-7 BE (27) engines each with 27,000 lbs./12,247 kg thrust
Length 129.6 feet/39.5 m
Height 42 feet/12.8 m
Wingspan 123.4 feet/37.6 m
Weight (maximum) 189,201 lbs./85,820 kg
Maximum Speed 490 knots/564 mph/907 km/h
Range 4,050 NM/4,660 miles/7,500 km
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,497 m
Capacity Sonobuoys, 11 weapons stations
Weapons Self-Protection Measures, Lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedo, AGM-84 Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles
Learmonth
The spectacular Milky Way dominates the night sky as a No. 11 Squadron P-8A Poseidon sits on the hardstand at RAAF Base Learmonth

100th Poseidon

The U.S. Navy received its 100th P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Boeing on May 14, 2020 as the global fleet, which also includes the Indian navy and the Australian and U.K. air forces, approaches 300,000 flight hours of hunting submarines and providing aerial reconnaissance capabilities around the world.

The 100th P-8A Poseidon built for the U.S. Navy departs Boeing Field (Boeing photo)

«We’re honored by the Navy’s faith and confidence in our employees and the P-8 Poseidon system», said Stu Voboril, vice president and program manager. «Our focus has been, and will be, on delivering the world’s best maritime patrol aircraft, bar none».

The P-8 Poseidon is a proven long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and coastal operations. A military derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation airplane, the P-8 Poseidon combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space.

This is the 94th mission-capable airplane to enter the U.S. Navy fleet, with six additional jets used as Engineering Manufacturing Development test aircraft. The 100th fully-operational delivery is scheduled for later this year. Boeing has also delivered 12 jets to the Royal Australian Air Force, two to the U.K.’s Royal Air Force and eight P-8Is Poseidon to the Indian Navy. Multiple U.S. Navy squadrons have deployed with the P-8A Poseidon, and the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force are conducting missions with the P-8 Poseidon as well.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs/12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs/85,820 kg

 

Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The RAF’s (Royal Air Force) new submarine-hunting Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) has touched down for the first time in the UK.

The first Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft has arrived in the UK

The aircraft is the first of a new £3 billion programme, including the purchase of nine state-of-the-art P-8A Poseidon jets, which will improve the UK’s ability to track hostile targets below and above the waves.

P-8A Poseidon aircraft will protect the UK’s continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent and be central to NATO missions across the North Atlantic, co-operating closely with the US and Norwegian Poseidon fleets.

The UK’s purchase of the P-8A Poseidon is in response to increased threats such as Russian submarine activity in the Atlantic returning to Cold War levels, while China is also investing heavily in new Arctic facilities, infrastructure and ice-capable ships.

Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said: «Our Poseidon fleet will soon join an integrated UK force of fighter jets, ships, submarines, helicopters and highly-trained Royal Marines, ready to operate in Arctic conditions. The UK will not stand by if peace in the Arctic region is threatened. RAF Lossiemouth’s strategic northerly location makes it one of the most important air stations in the UK: already home to half of the UK’s Typhoon Force, and now sitting at the heart of our anti-submarine operations».

The P-8A Poseidon is designed to carry out extended surveillance missions at high and low altitudes. The aircraft is equipped with cutting-edge sensors which use high-resolution area mapping to find both submarines and surface vessels.

Each aircraft carries sonobuoys which are dropped from the aircraft into the sea to search for enemy submarines, surveying the battlespace under the sea and relaying data back to the aircraft.

Poseidon will also be armed with Harpoon anti-surface ship missiles and Mk-54 torpedoes capable of attacking both surface and sub-surface targets.

Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, said: «The Poseidon MRA1 is a game-changing Maritime Patrol Aircraft. I am delighted and proud to see the ‘Pride of Moray’ and her crews returning to maritime patrol flying from Scotland, working alongside the Royal Navy to secure our seas and protect our nation».

First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin, said: «The arrival of the first Poseidon marks a significant upgrade in the UK’s ability to conduct anti-submarine operations. This will give the UK the ability to conduct long range patrols and integrate seamlessly with our NATO allies to provide a world-leading capability. This will maintain operational freedom for our own submarines and apply pressure to those of our potential foes. I look forward to working with the RAF and our international partners on this superb aircraft».

All nine UK Poseidons will be delivered to the RAF by the end of 2021 and achieve full operational capability from RAF Lossiemouth in 2024. The aircraft will be flown initially by 120 Squadron, the leading anti-submarine warfare squadron in World War 2, with 201 Squadron joining the programme in due course.

Named the ‘Pride of Moray’, the first UK Poseidon arrived at Kinloss Barracks, used previously by the RAF Nimrod MPA fleet, and now home to the Army’s specialist air support engineers, 39 Engineer Regiment.

P-8A Poseidon will temporarily operate from Kinloss until October 2020 while £75 million of planned runway and taxiway resurfacing works is completed at Lossiemouth by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. Routine Typhoon training will also temporarily relocate from Lossiemouth to Kinloss in June and July while the intersection of the runways there is resurfaced.

Michelle Sanders, DE&S P-8A Poseidon Delivery Team Leader, said: «Seeing the first RAF Poseidon MRA Mk1 landing in the UK is an incredibly proud moment for all of the team at DE&S. Close, collaborative working with colleagues in Air Capability, the US Navy and industry has helped us deliver this very capable aircraft. Moray’s RAF Lossiemouth is one of the most important air stations in the UK: it is already home to four RAF Typhoon squadrons – half of the RAF Typhoon Force – and will become the centre of operations for the UK Poseidon fleet».

UK defence is investing £470 million in upgrading RAF Lossiemouth’s infrastructure, including a new £132 million strategic facility for the P-8A Poseidon fleet, upgraded runways and operating surfaces, a new Air Traffic Control Tower, upgraded facilities for IX (Bomber) Squadron which moved to Scotland in 2019, new personnel accommodation, upgraded drainage and electrical supplies.

When these developments are complete there will be 550 additional military personnel based at RAF Lossiemouth, taking the total number of military personnel employed there to 2,532.