Poseidon Arrives at Kinloss

Photo: Two Royal Air Force Typhoon aircraft from II(AC) Squadron escort the Poseidon over Kinloss. The RAF’s new submarine-hunting Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) has touched down for the first time in the UK on the 4th February 2020 at Kinloss Barracks. The aircraft is the first of a new £3 billion programme, including the purchase of nine state-of-the-art Poseidon jets, which will improve the UK’s ability to track hostile targets below and above the waves. 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 UK’s purchase of the Poseidon is in response to increased threats such as Russian submarine activity in the Atlantic returning to Cold War levels, while China is also investing heavily in new Arctic facilities, infrastructure and ice-capable ships. Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, said: “The Poseidon MRA1 is a game-changing Maritime Patrol Aircraft. I am delighted and proud to see the ‘Pride of Moray’ and her crews returning to maritime patrol flying from Scotland, working alongside the Royal Navy to secure our seas and protect our nation. Russian submarines have nowhere to hide.”

 

The first RAF P-8A landing at Kinloss. MOD Crown Copyright/Sgt Ashley Keates

The first Poseidon MRA1 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) for the RAF has arrived in the UK, Tuesday February 4. Flying in from NAS Jacksonville, Florida, ZP801 Pride of Moray touched down at Kinloss Barracks, (formerly RAF Kinloss) after a flypast flanked by two Typhoon fighters.

The nine Poseidons on order will be operated by 120 and 201 Sqns from RAF Lossiemouth, when runway and infrastructure work is complete in October this year.

The aircraft will begin initial operations in just a few months.

Two Royal Air Force Typhoon aircraft from II(AC) Squadron escort the Poseidon over Kinloss. MOD Crown Copyright/Sgt Ashley Keates

ACM Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, said: “The Poseidon MRA1 is a game-changing maritime patrol aircraft. I am delighted and proud to see the Pride of Moray and her crews returning to maritime patrol flying from Scotland, working alongside the Royal Navy to secure our seas and protect our nation.”

Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:“Our Poseidon fleet will soon join an integrated UK force of fighter jets, ships, submarines, helicopters and highly-trained Royal Marines, ready to operate in Arctic conditions. The UK will not stand by if peace in the Arctic region is threatened.

“RAF Lossiemouth’s strategic northerly location makes it one of the most important air stations in the UK: already home to half of the UK’s Typhoon Force, and now sitting at the heart of our anti-submarine operations.”

The P-8 was ordered in November 2015, following the cancellation of the Nimrod MRA4 programme in October 2010, leaving an MPA ‘capability gap’ of nearly a decade, filled in part by other NATO nations. In July 2012, RAF Kinloss was handed over to the army, but retained its runway and aviation infrastructure.

The P-8A parked at Kinloss. MOD Crown Copyright/Sgt Ashley Keates

 

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