The UK declared initial operating capability (IOC) for its Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) on 3 April.
The UK will have nine Poseidon MMA aircraft by the time that deliveries are complete in 2021. With two so far received, the RAF has declared IOC for the type. (Crown Copyright)
With the first two of nine aircraft now located in Scotland, the Royal Air Force (RAF) announced that it is “now patrolling the seas, hunting hostile submarines, keeping the UK safe”.
“We’ve just declared an initial operating capability for our Poseidon aircraft, on time on 1 April. We’ve still got a long way to go with introducing this next-generation capability into service, but Poseidon is a game-changer, not just for hunting submarines but for a range of other roles from anti-ship warfare, maritime reconnaissance, and long-range search and rescue tasks,” Air Commodore Richard Barrow, Poseidon Senior Responsible Owner, was quoted by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as saying.
Aircraft ZP801 Pride of Moray and ZP802 City of Elgin arrived at Kinloss Barracks on 4 February and 13 March respectively. Both of these aircraft and the remaining seven to be delivered will be operated from RAF Lossiemouth, a short distance away from Kinloss, when construction of new facilities is to be completed later in the year. Operations are set to commence during the fourth quarter, with the type being flown by 120 Squadron and 201 Squadron (to be stood-up later this year), with 54 Squadron serving as the training and Operational Conversion Unit (OCU).