RAF submarine-hunting aircraft touch down for the first time in the UK

The RAF’s new submarine-hunting Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) completed their first touch down in the UK.

The touch down of nine Poseidon aircraft marks their first visit to the UK ahead of their delivery to RAF Lossiemouth. The Poseidon aircraft contract aims to 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.

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. 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

Admiral Tony Radakin, First Sea Lord, 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.”

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.

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