Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon announced the operating squadrons and the first commanding officer for the new aircraft as part of the government’s £3Bn investment in its Maritime Patrol Aircraft capability.
The nine new P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft will be responsible for protecting the UK’s submarine-deployed nuclear deterrent and its two new aircraft carriers.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “Our nine new Poseidon aircraft are part of our plan to monitor and deal with increased threats to our country. They can operate at long range without refuelling and have the endurance to carry out high and low-level airborne maritime and overland surveillance for extended periods, helping keep us safe. The P-8A aircraft will allow us to work more closely with our allies, improve our surveillance coverage and will provide value for taxpayers’ money.”
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “Today is an important milestone in the P-8A Poseidon programme which will bring to the Royal Air Force an unrivalled maritime patrol capability. The advanced state-of-the-art sensors aboard the P-8A will provide global protection to UK, NATO and our Allies’ submarines and warships, and enhance and complement the UK’s standing search and rescue responsibilities.
“It is also a great pleasure to welcome back 120 and 201 Squadrons. Both have long and distinguished records serving in the maritime role and together they will help forge the next generation Royal Air Force.”
The arrival of the new Poseidons will see an additional 400 plus personnel located at RAF Lossiemouth, where some £400M is being invested in support infrastructure, and will also bring wider economic benefits to the area. Alongside this, several hundred jobs around the UK will also be supported, while further opportunities will be available for UK firms with training and support contracts to be tendered.
Image: Crown Copyright
If you would like to join our community and read more articles like this then please click here