The Royal Air Force welcomed the final of nine Poseidon P-8A maritime patrol aircraft on January 11, as ZP809 landed at air force base Lossiemouth.
Delivery of the yet-to-be-named aircraft by Boeing marked the end of a Poseidon journey which began in early 2020 when the first Poseidon “submarine hunter” ZP801, Pride of Moray, arrived in the UK.
As the previous airframes of the type, ZP809 will operate as part of the re-established 201 Squadron, providing maritime patrol capabilities and working side-by-side with the Royal Navy to secure the seas around the UK and abroad.
Poseidon MPAs are equipped with sensors and weapons systems for anti-submarine warfare, as well as surveillance and search and rescue missions. They feature 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.
Poseidons fill the gap left by the retirement of the Nimrod MR2, which bowed out in 2010 and the plug was pulled on its over-budget and long-delayed replacement, the MR4A.