The UK Royal Air Force’s fifth Poseidon MRA1 (P-8A) maritime patrol aircraft has been delivered to RAF Lossiemouth, the service announced.
The fifth aircraft, designated ZP805 and named Fulmar, flew directly from Boeing Field near Seattle, USA to Lossiemouth. This the first time that an RAF Poseidon has been delivered to Scotland straight from the factory and the crossing took just over eight hours.
Another aircraft safely home… Fulmar, our fifth Poseidon sub-hunter, touched down safe and sound at Lossie this morning.
— RAF Lossiemouth (@RAFLossiemouth) February 2, 2021
The arrival of the fifth aircraft represents another milestone in the development of Lossiemouth’s maritime patrol capability and it comes at a time of unprecedented submarine activity, close to UK waters. Poseidon MPA can react quickly to track potential threats over large areas of sea or ocean and defend our own submarine fleet.
The name Fulmar is a nod to RAF Lossiemouth’s Naval past. The Station was called HMS Fulmar, itself named after a hardy sea bird, between 1946 and 1972.
A Poseidon Commander said: “Monitoring and tracking all activity in seas around the United Kingdom is paramount to our security. The arrival of this latest aircraft helps to ensure that we have the continued capability to defend our waters and support our NATO partners.”
Boeing’s Poseidon MRA1 (P-8A) is a multi-role maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), equipped with sensors and weapons systems for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), as well as surveillance and search and rescue (SAR) missions.
The aircraft features an APY-10 radar for high-resolution mapping, an acoustic sensor system, an electro-optical/ infrared (EO/IR) turret and electronic support measures (ESM). It can also be armed with a weapons system that includes torpedoes for engaging sub-surface targets.
Nine Poseidon MRA Mk.1 aircraft have been ordered for the Royal Air Force and the addition of ZP805 takes the number on fleet past the half way mark. The UK Government has invested £470 million overall in RAF Lossiemouth, which will future-proof Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) and maritime patrol operations for many years to come.