Royal Air Force base Lossiemouth welcomed its newest Poseidon Mk1 maritime patrol aircraft, ZP806, on September 21.
The submarine- hunter, named ‘Guernsey’s Reply,’ is the sixth Poseidon aircraft to arrive at the Moray base and will operate as part of the re-established 201 Squadron.
The aircraft’s name honors the close bond between 201, the island of Guernsey and Jurat Herbert Machon OBE who named his Mk XVI Spitfire “Guernsey’s Reply” during World War II.
The latest addition to the RAF Poseidon fleet will now play a part in the squadron’s role as the ‘Schoolhouse’ and their mission to train the next generation of Poseidon aircrew and instructors. It will also form part of the front line fleet which will total nine aircraft by the end of the year.
“I am thrilled to welcome Guernsey’s Reply to RAF Lossiemouth. Not only does this mark a further increase to our maritime air capability here at RAF Lossiemouth but it is also a fitting tribute to the association between 201 Squadron and Guernsey. Everyone on 201 Squadron is very proud of this long-standing association and the history which it represents. As we move forward, we must continue to foster the links which brought us to where we are now, and I am personally grateful to be able to play my small part,” Wing Commander Smolak, Officer Commanding 201 Squadron, commented.
The Poseidon is already providing maritime patrol capabilities and working side-by-side with the Royal Navy to secure the seas around the UK and abroad. It is equipped with sensors and weapons systems for anti-submarine warfare, as well as surveillance and search and rescue missions. It features an APY-10 radar for high-resolution mapping, an acoustic sensor system, an electro-optical / IR turret and electronic support measures (ESM).
The aircraft can also be armed with a weapons system that includes torpedoes for engaging sub-surface targets. Most recently, a RAF Poseidon released an Mk 54 torpedo for the first time, in another milestone for the UK’s submarine hunter fleet.