75% of the current Royal Air Force P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft fleet are in use today.

The Open Source Intelligence Twitter account Intel Air & Sea followed the event earlier, if you don’t follow them then I’d suggest you go do that now.

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

“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.”

Four of the type are currently in the UK.

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2/4 is 50% or did i miss something?

Trevor G

Maybe the third one is out there with transponder switched off and the other 2 are trying to find it?
Alternatively, the author of the headline bunked off maths lessons at school…

John Pattullo

this was my thought too

Supportive Bloke

The article states

“ 3rd P-8 ZP804 departing RAF Lossiemouth”

So that is reasonably clear.


Good news that the RAF now has four Poseidon in the UK, the fleet is almost half way to the nine ordered.

About a week ago here in Oz, the Government approved the order of two more to bring the RAAF P-8A Poseidon fleet to 14, the initial 12 have all been delivered (three of six MQ-4C Triton are also on order, plus the option for a seventh).


I wonder if the RAF can convince the UK Government to increase their order?



Or maybe we can share a couple of yours?


I think the answer to that is a NO!

But if I remember correctly there were RAF aircrew here, and with the other Five Eyes nations, for training under Project Seedcorn, plus there is RAF aircrew training here on the E-7A Wedgetail too.

Maybe we should send you a bill? Ha ha!


Mark B

It is likely that future excitement is going to be in your neighbourhood and it therefore seems likely we will repay the debt tenfold in the coming years. Can we sell you a few carriers or maybe some other kit?


Mate, hopefully it doesn’t get too exciting in our neck of the woods. Can you sell us a carrier? Be nice, but realistically won’t happen, whilst the defence budget is strong and the RAN is getting a fleet of new ships and subs, it wouldn’t stretch to a carrier and the manpower required either. As for other kit, I really don’t think that there is too much UK equipment that the ADF would want. Most equipment, aircraft, weapons and sensors are US sourced for a lot of reasons. Yes we are buying the T26 design, but from the main deck… Read more »


hello John just wondering if you are the same John newman who posts on defense talk


Mate, in Oz we call it Defence Talk (not that wrong US ‘Defense’ spelling!).

But yes, and do you? If you do, what’s your name on DT?


hello John no i’m not a member of defense talk although i read through the ran/ rn / raaf / raf / rnzn / rcn / australian army posts its quite informative with what’s posted,i quoted the the defense talk spelling just to make sure i had it right i do use the defence spelling as i’m from oz as well cheers ross


Mate, you should join in, lots of contributors from around the globe, plenty of Def Pros contributing quality info.

I’ve been on DT for almost 10 years, was a lurker for a while before. Get yourself a log in and send me a PM, ok?


Sean Crowley

John they were meant to have ordered Three more , with NZ buying four they reduced from required 16 to 15 then now with Covid taking every one’s attention away have orders for just another two . Also MQ-4C they have ordered six as opposed to original intent of Seven .


Sean, that’s not entirely accurate. You got to go right back to the early days of project AIR7000 to see how the numbers of airframes were planned to be, prior to 2010. The plan to replace the AP-3C fleet was originally to be 8 P-8A and 7 MQ-4C. Then in 2013 the Chief of Air Force said they were reviewing the numbers and were going to follow the USN operational plan of a ‘2 to 1’ ratio of Poseidon to Triton. Then in 2014 when the Government of the day made the announcement of the order for P-8A it became… Read more »


what interests me more is the 8 or 9 US Navy P8s operating out of Lossie & Prestwick.


Likewise. A lot more interest of late.
Guessing the Russians are probing the gap and UK with one of their newer subs.
Wouldn’t suprise me if they’ve managed to sneak out one of their new Khabarovsk class.


I’m sure the people in Dam Neck, Virginia are all over it. It has the largest group of Brit Service people in the States and for good reason. SOSUS never died… It just went unnoticed for a while and got upgraded… (A lot) and had a name change.
The IUSS chains are still used to steer hunters be they aircraft, ships or subs into areas where they have had a sniff of a target.


Morning GB, yes I’d imagine they’re all over it.
Even without all the hype its still ment to be super stealthy but I guess time will tell.
If it’s out and about I’m sure they’ll have pinged it…will be more a mad rush to gather data on it I’d imagine.

Daniele Mandelli


Any idea why the IUSS set up moved from the JMF? US insistence?

Was certainly an asset to have on UK soil.

Nick C

It’s good to see the capability ramping up. What worries me is that we have only ordered nine aircraft, and as you can see in the post from Australia production is about to start winding down, if we don’t get an order in soon it won’t be possible to add on to the production run. If you look back the original requirements for Nimrod MRA4 was for 22 airframes, and the world was a much more predictable place. Since we now have a burgeoning Russian threat and China threatening our allies in the East we surely need a bunch more.


It’s the same old story. 9 is perhaps just about enough to maintain a sufficient tempo of operations out of Lossiemouth but it won’t leave any slack to deploy 1 or 2 overseas if needed or account for unexpected damages/loss.


My understand is that P-8A production, with the current order book, should end sometime in 2025, and that also means that the long lead items start ending their production one to two years prior, as is normal with most production runs. One would assume that customers, and potential customers, would be well aware of this, including the UK Government. Here in Oz we were starting to wonder if the options on the additional three would happen or not, so the announcement on 30th December that two of the three options were being exercised was a bit of a surprise out… Read more »

Nick C

I fear we will see the usual UK civil service actions coming to the fore. Considerable delays for all sorts of reasons, chiefly financial, and when it is too late then astonishment that the line has shut and there are no more to be had! At least in Aus you seem to have a reasonable idea about forward planning, and a very tangible threat that needs to be countered.


Mate, astonishment that a line has shut is usually associated with Indian procurement, not a good example to follow! The fortunate thing here in Oz is that despite the usual big differences in the policies of the two major political parties, there is one area where there is a clear bipartisan approach, and that’s Defence policy and spending. Yes there’s little quibbles and point scoring here and there, but there isn’t any clear sign that one side will reverse the decision of the other at changes of Government. Funding for the next 10 years has been set out to match… Read more »

Nick C

Any chance you could send someone over here to convince our lot that this is a good way to do things? Better yet we could swap you Boris for almost anyone of yours.


How sad, your supposed to be mature and dare I say it, old as fuck!

Supportive Bloke

That would be three highly capable brand new planes designed specifically for the job they are doing?


And putting highly skilled new jobs into the economy of North Britain!

Mr Bell



Apparently ZP805 due for delivery to Lossiemouth tomorrow. Having said that the eastern seaboard of the US is somewhat snowy/stormy atm.