A number of U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft are using Glasgow Prestwick Airport to patrol the North Atlantic.

Four P-8 Poseidon aircraft arrived last week.

It is understood that four P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft are operating from the airport patrolling the Greenland-Iceland-UK (GIUK) gap.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport, for anyone interested, is a passenger and freight airport serving the west of Scotland situated 32 miles from Glasgow. It is the less busy of the two airports serving the area, the busier one being Glasgow Airport.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport was purchased by the Scottish Government in November 2013 to protect jobs and safeguard a strategic infrastructure asset. The airport operates as a commercial business at an arm’s length from the Government.

The airport frequently hosts military aircraft crossing the Atlantic or supporting exercises.

The UK’s fourth of nine P-8 arrived home to RAF Lossiemouth recently.

Image shows the Poseidon aircraft in the factory.
The fourth Poseidon MRA1 maritime patrol aircraft was delivered to the RAF on Tuesday 3rd November 2020.

Nine Poseidon MRA1 aircraft have been ordered, the first of which landed on British soil for the first time in February 2020.

According to an RAF statement at the time:

“Since then, crews from CXX Squadron have been securing the seas over and around the United Kingdom on operational missions. 54 Squadron have also been training new pilots and weapons systems operators on the platform, as 400 additional military personnel will be joining Team Lossie in Moray to fly and operate the nine aircraft.

Poseidon is a hugely capable submarine hunter, able to locate, identify, and track potentially hostile submarines as they operate close to our waters. Its powerful radar is also able to detect and track surface vessels above the waves. It boasts a comprehensive communications suite which means the intelligence it gathers can be passed to commanders whether they are in the air, on a ship, on the ground, or back at RAF Lossiemouth.”

It is presumed that the US aircraft are not using the Lossiemouth base due to ongoing construction work on facilities to host additional P-8 aircraft.


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Always glad to help our Redcoat friends out. lol


Red coats and rednecks together lol


AE685D currently E of Arran inbound Prestwick. They’ve been swapping 1 out every so often (usually with Sigonella?).

Captain P Wash

Hope they don’t upset the Golfers.

Daniele Mandelli

I wonder if the RAF will get an additional batch of P8 this review?

We really should be able to do this consistently ourselves.

Captain P Wash

It’s a fair request really if you consider our Global aspirations.

Daniele Mandelli

Morning Captain.

Yes. And GIUK should be a UK priority.

Captain P Wash

Morning mate, yes very important now that there is renewed interest in the Arctic.


Hi Captain P, That is especially true given that the Northeast Passage was open for a record 100+ days this year. I read an article a couple of weeks ago and it seem global warming is having a massive impact on the artic, far fast in recent years, to the extent that the Northeast Passage is rapidly becoming a viable commercial route. If remember right there were over 1000 passages by commercial vessels this years, another record. The Northeast Passge is far short that the route through Suez and could significantly change global shipping routes. It would also habd Russia… Read more »

Captain P Wash

Yes CR, Sometimes it’s better to have a Blocked Passage.

David Barry

Perhaps read what Jim at the thinpinstrippedline had to say. It is very sobering.

Martyn Parker

Rumour is they are cutting the AEW order so doubt they will be buying more P8s just yet


Those rumours were in response to Boeing upping the cost considerably from the agreed price. Nothing has been stated officially so we may still see 5 Wedgetails ordered after more negotiation.


Cutting from 5, can you operate with fewer?

Martyn Parker

I would guess that they would intend to rely on the NATO operated AEW


I think it’s fair to assume that Boeing will be calling ‘last drinks’ on P-8 production sooner than later. The USN received its 100th airframe earlier this year, here in Oz the RAAF received its 12th a year ago (there is still the potential for another 3 airframes, but no news yet), India had completed delivery of 8 P-8I a fair while ago (has also just started receiving the first of another 4), the 15 airframes for New Zealand, Norway and South Korea should start production soon and the order for nine RAF airframes is about half way completed too.… Read more »


We now have 4 delivered, considering we didn’t have any MPAs for 10 years, what is happening that we suddenly need 8. Increases Russian activity?

Captain P Wash

Increased Thinking in the UK Government !!!

Daniele Mandelli

About time!

Captain P Wash

I was looking for the Upvote feature then…. lol….. silly me !


There was always a need for MPA. The government just didn’t fund/plan for Nimrod MRA4 enough to get it into service, causing a long capability gap where we waited for the procurement of a new airframe (P8).

James Fennell