The UK Ministry of Defence has revealed the delivery schedule for its P-8A MRA1 maritime patrol aircraft in a Freedom of Information Act release to
on 5 December.
Seen taking off for its maiden flight in July, the first of nine Poseidon MRA1 aircraft for the UK was handed over on 29 October. (Crown copyright 2019)
According to the schedule, the first four aircraft will be handed over to the Royal Air Force (RAF) at US Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville in Florida, the main US Navy P-8 training and logistics base. The last five UK aircraft will be delivered from Boeing’s Seattle assembly facility direct to RAF Lossiemouth.
Three UK P-8s will have to operate from a temporary base until runway repairs at their main operating base are complete in late 2020.
It had previously been announced that only the first two Poseidons would operate from the army-controlled Kinloss airfield in Moray while resurfacing work is carried out to reinforce the main runway at nearby RAF Lossiemouth.
The first UK P-8 was handed over to the RAF in October and is scheduled to fly to Kinloss in March or early April 2020. The second aircraft will fly to Kinloss at around the same time and the third aircraft will follow it to this airfield by the end of October.
It is hoped that runway resurfacing work at RAF Lossiemouth will have progressed enough for the fourth aircraft to be flown to the airbase, via NAS Jacksonville, by the end of 2020. The direct delivery of the fifth aircraft to RAF Lossiemouth is also intended to take place by the end of 2020.