The first of Britain’s new fleet of nine maritime patrol aircraft has taken to the skies. The flight of the Poseidon MRA Mk1 (P-8A) was completed successfully at the hands of Boeing test pilots.
Following this first test flight, the aircraft will transfer from Boeing Commercial Airplanes to Boeing Defense, Space and Security to be fitted out with the Poseidon-specific military systems. The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to the Royal Air Force, initially at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, in October 2019 and is due to arrive in the UK in early-Spring 2020.
“It has been fantastic to meet with the Boeing team who build the Poseidon aircraft and to see our first Poseidon aircraft, ZP801, take to the skies on its inaugural flight. We look forward to the aircraft being delivered to Royal Air Force ownership in October.”
Group Captain Shaun Gee
P-8A Programme Director
Air Commodore Richard Barrow, Senior Responsible Owner for the Poseidon Programme, said:
“The first cadre of RAF engineers and aircrew have been trained on the P-8A Poseidon which marks the resurgence of the RAF’s long-range maritime patrol capability. The Poseidon MRA Mk 1 will enhance the UK’s maritime patrol capability with advanced, state-of-the-art, Anti-Submarine Warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare sensors. This is an exciting time for the Royal Air Force especially for those based at RAF Lossiemouth”
Poseidon ZP801 will also carry the name Pride of Moray. This name celebrates the Maritime Patrol Aircraft heritage of Moray as well as looking forward to the Poseidon’s future home in RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland.
The RAF will procure a total of nine Poseidon aircraft which will be based at RAF Lossiemouth from Autumn 2020. The Poseidon will provide a globally deployable fifth-generation maritime patrol capability; specifically, the Poseidon will work side-by-side with the Royal Navy in securing the seas around the UK and abroad.