A New Era of Maritime Patrol for the RAF

A New Era of Maritime Patrol for the RAF 4 November, 2019

The Royal Air Force has taken delivery of its first submarine-hunting Boeing Poseidon MRA1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). The UK's last dedicated MPAs flew out of RAF Kinloss from Lossiemouth, in 2010. However, a growing Russian submarine threat in the North Atlantic prompted the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to invest £3 billion in nine Poseidon aircraft to track maritime targets.

The aircraft will eventually be based at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland. An RAF crew will soon begin training in the use of the aircraft at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida before it is flown to Lossiemouth next year. First of planes will arrive at RAF Lossiemouth in early 2020, with remaining aircraft delivered by 2021

The Poseidon MRA1 is equipped with sensors which use high-resolution area mapping to find both surface and sub-surface threats. The aircraft can carry up to 129 sonobuoys, small detection devices, which are dropped from the aircraft into the sea to search for enemy submarines.

The Poseidon will also be armed with Harpoon anti-surface ship missiles and Mk 54 torpedoes capable of attacking both surface and sub-surface targets.

The RAF's 120 Squadron will use the aircraft in a submarine hunter role.

Nine Poseidon MRA1 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) is being taken over by the Ministry of Defence

A New Era of Maritime Patrol for the RAF

Issue 86