The major milestone comes after the first cohort of RAF aircrew commenced their training for the programme in January, marking the start of a vital enhancement of the UK’s military capabilities in the maritime environment. The P-8A Poseidon is a new aircraft for the RAF designed to operate for long durations over water in maritime patrol roles, in particular anti-submarine, anti-shipping and search and rescue.
The Minister made the announcement for the P-8A programme during a visit to local Cambridge firm, Marshall Aerospace and Defence, where the fuel tanks for the aircraft are being produced.
The Poseidon MPA aircraft is based on the Boeing 737, which is already supported by UK industry, providing several hundred direct UK jobs at companies including Boeing, Marshall’s, Martin Baker and General Electric UK.
The innovative sub-hunting fleet, designed for future growth and adaptability, will enhance the UK’s specialist airborne maritime patrol capability through advanced, state of the art anti-ship missiles, sonobuoys and torpedoes. The aircraft will also contribute to the protection of the UK’s nuclear deterrent and the UK’s new aircraft carriers, seek to locate and track hostile submarines and enhance maritime Search & Rescue (SAR) capability.
Mr Andrew said: “Local companies, like Marshall Aerospace and Defence, form the backbone of our economy. The MOD has invested £141m in Marshall and I am proud to recognise the vital role they play in shaping our world-leading defence industry.
“Our new submarine-hunters will be a potent deterrent to our adversaries and a dependable asset for the UK and our allies, and the innovative defence equipment built by Marshall will help us combat a range of intensifying threats.”
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