City of Elgin (ZP802), the second of nine submarine-hunting aircraft that will be operated by the Royal Air Force, has landed at its new permanent home at RAF base Lossiemouth.
ZP802 arrived in the UK from Navair Air Station Jacksonville, United States, in March this year. It was temporarily stationed at Kinloss Barracks until the GBP75 million upgrade project at RAF Lossiemouth was completed.
Earlier this month, the Royal Air Force revealed that works at RAF Lossiemouth were at a stage that allowed aircraft to return to the Moray station. RAF Lossiemouth’s Typhoon fighters also operated from Kinloss Barracks as well as Leuchars Station while the station’s two runways were resurfaced.
The arrival of the first Poseidon also follows the completion of a new facility that will house the aircraft. The £100 million facility was designed and completed by Boeing and its construction partner Robertson in July this year.
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 aircraft can carry up to 129 sonobuoys, small detection devices which are dropped from the aircraft into the sea to search for enemy submarines. The systems survey the battlespace under the surface of the sea and relay acoustic information via radio transmitter back to the aircraft.
Poseidons will also be armed with Harpoon anti-surface ship missiles and Mk 54 torpedoes capable of attacking both surface and sub-surface targets.