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UK takes delivery of first RAF Boeing P-8 Poseidon MRA1


The UK’s Ministry of Defence has taken delivery of the first Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Boeing P-8 Poseidon MRA1 submarine hunter.


UK takes delivery of first RAF Boeing P 8 Poseidon V2 The first RAF P-8A Poseidon (Picture source: UK MoD)


The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly Multimission Maritime Aircraft) is a military aircraft developed and produced by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX. It was developed for the United States Navy (USN).

The P-8 is being operated in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction roles. It is armed with torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons, and is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys, as well as operate in conjunction with other assets, including the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The airplane was handed over to the RAF during a ceremony at Boeing's defence headquarters in Seattle, Washington, USA.

“The sensors that are on the P-8 are next generation sensors so they effectively make the sea transparent. This aircraft a lot of people think of it as a submarine hunter, it does so much more than that. Yes, it can chase, track, detect and if required destroy submarines but its capability on the surface is equally as good. It has a phenomenal capability in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and we mustn’t forget also its ability to do search and rescue. It’s a multirole aircraft but ostensibly we’re bringing it into service certainly in the next years to be a submarine hunter and to provide protection for our nuclear deterrent.” said Air Vice-Marshal Harv Smyth, Air Officer Commanding 1 Group of the Royal Air Force.

The Poseidon will be operated by the 120 Squadron, which right now is training with the US Navy in Jacksonville, but it will be transferred to RAF Lossiemouth when the new infrastructures will be ready to host the aircraft and the squadron. According to a Twitter post by Air Marshal Julian Young, responsible for acquisition and support of UK Defence’s fixed-wing aircraft, the arrival at RAF Lossiemouth is scheduled for February 20, 2020.

The UK. is expecting nine aircraft in total, and all will be delivered and ready to go by 2024.