RAF Lossiemouth have welcomed their newest Poseidon MRA Mk1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, ZP806.

The submarine-hunter, named ‘Guernsey’s Reply’, is the sixth Poseidon aircraft to arrive at the Moray base and will operate as part of the re-established 201 Squadron.

The Royal Air Force say here that the aircrafts name honours the close bond between 201, the island of Guernsey and Jurat Herbert Machon OBE who named his Mk XVI Spitfire ‘Guernsey’s Reply’ during World War II.

Image Crown Copyright 2021.

Wing Commander Smolak, Officer Commanding 201 Squadron, was quoted as saying:

“I am thrilled to welcome Guernsey’s Reply to RAF Lossiemouth.  Not only does this mark a further increase to our maritime air capability here at RAF Lossiemouth but it is also a fitting tribute to the association between 201 Squadron and Guernsey. 

Everyone on 201 Squadron is very proud of this long-standing association and the history which it represents. As we move forward, we must continue to foster the links which brought us to where we are now, and I am personally grateful to be able to play my small part.”

Poseidon is equipped with sensors and weapons systems for anti-submarine warfare, as well as surveillance and search and rescue missions. It features an APY-10 radar for high-resolution mapping, an acoustic sensor system, an electro-optical/IR turret and electronic support measures.

Nine Poseidon MRA Mk. 1 aircraft have been ordered.

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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago

Why are fighter aircraft / transport / ISTAR aircraft not named?

We have so few now anyway. For example, Battle of Britain pilots on Typhoon (F) Squadrons.

On the railways I think all or most engines are named so why different here.

Reaper
Reaper
21 days ago

Ok how about Paul, Tom, Dave, Stewart for the 4 Typhoons left.👍

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Ha, actually 4 Typhoons are named. 1435 Flight.

Geoffi
Geoffi
21 days ago

Faith, Hope, Charity and Desperation

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

That’s them. Couldn’t remember the names.

Klonkie
Klonkie
21 days ago

think they are named after the Gloster Gladiator flight defending Malta- June1940. Real Biggles stuff

Lusty
Lusty
21 days ago

There has to be a Bushell in there somewhere.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Who, Big X?

Lusty
Lusty
21 days ago

The very same!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

One of my fav films!

Lusty
Lusty
21 days ago

Yush! ‘The Great Escape’ by Jonathan F. Vance is well worth a read as well. Just try and shield yourself from the American English. 😉

Johan
Johan
21 days ago

naming is a personal thing, and not something that carried over on fighter/transport and other types. Maritime Aircraft and i think this goes back to the golden days of the Seaplanes, its unlucky not to name a vessel. sure someone on here said that before…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Johan

So maybe we should start naming them, gets publicity for assets and remembers names from the past.

Tanks, Jets, Helicopters.

Reaper
Reaper
21 days ago

Why two Squadrons if we will only have 9?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Crews. Larger aircraft are often “pooled” in squadrons. 120, 204, and the OCU will have many more crews than aircraft.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago

Sorry, 201.

Klonkie
Klonkie
21 days ago

Strange they didn’t form up 2 sqns for the 8 C17thogh, with only 99 sqn active. I imagine there must be plenty of crew on the 8 C17s.
I am quietly hoping that 2 P8 sqns indicate a few more aircraft may be ordered!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

True. There were only 4 at first mind, and leased at that. Horror.

I remember being at Mildenhall in the early 90s and being totally awed seeing C17s. Never imagined the RAF would operate them.

Reaper
Reaper
21 days ago

Ah Right, cheers Daniele

Reaper
Reaper
21 days ago

Ah Right, cheers Daniele 👍

Steve M
Steve M
21 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Commerical aircraft designed to be used. they keep working if used nearly constantly so it does makes sense to land trun around and sortie with new crew. Always had availability issues with Tristar’s which sat around Brize for days/weeks not used then when they tried turning on things broke 🙁 The down side is you then only have limited surge/war increase available it’s not likme WW2 where you can role aircraft x per day of the line even worse for ships as they can take 5+ years

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

The flip side seems to be that these P8’s can actually be built pretty fast. Given they are commercial conversions and are designed for lot of flying hours with the gremlins designed out experientially. So the reality may be that we only have 9 but that may actually be the equivalent of 14+ MRA4’s (lets not start that argument again) given the inevitably better reliability of something that has been mass produced and optimised for low maintenance costs and high up times. There is also the possibility that more could be ordered as the line is still live. And this… Read more »

Reaper
Reaper
21 days ago

We should order another 6 P8s, they are vital for helping protect our Nuclear subs and considering we have so few ASW ships and Atack subs and how the planes are relatively cheap in comparison I can’t and don’t understand why not..

Steve M
Steve M
21 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Agreed, we will struggle to cover 2 CSG’s plus the ARG and still have enough ASW ships to cover the deterent and patrol GIUK gap. P-8’s can cover a lot more area and response to alerts from SOSUS. Protector might be fine for surface but not sub hunting.

Last edited 21 days ago by Steve M
Johan
Johan
21 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

the original order of the 9 and simulators and training facilities. was a one-off contract, the general feeling is they could add another airframe 1 per year, once the 9 are delivered and Add to the fleet like the Australians do by attaching to other orders.

Deep32
Deep32
21 days ago
Reply to  Johan

Tagging onto a order seems to be the way to go, given the price difference for our last 4(507mi!), as opposed to this standalone order for the Germans 5(750ish mil). Obviously the full details of both deals aren’t in the public domain, but. nevertheless……

Steve M
Steve M
21 days ago

I support UK industry but with the scale we buy at the design expenditure is always huge for what we get. Always thought we should have joined US for F-16/ F15 c & E / F-22!!! and built under licence (what with our ‘Special’ relationship 😅) could still put our black boxes and engines in to maintain skills?

Reaper
Reaper
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Wasn’t the Typhoon largely British design and plane so we were busy with that and harrier upgrades, and tornado. But the F15 is a beast I would have loved that flying in the RAF, the F22 I’m not sure about, the yanks seemed determined not to let anyone have that beast.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Yes, the EAP.

Reaper
Reaper
21 days ago

Yeah, I wonder if the EAP is still at that university in parts visually teaching students

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Was it Loughborough?

Johan
Johan
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

The Special arrangements only worked one way. you give us all this and we will SELL YOU this. so we scrap all our plans and they then scrap what there were going to sell. F16/F15 Maybe but Europe was developing the Tornado and putting money into its own countries’ pockets. F22 no overseas sales and a stupid price tag. Without Tornado there is no Typhoon, without Typhoon there is no Tempest. USA did its very best to kill UK aircraft industry.

Johan
Johan
21 days ago

P8s actually work, unlike the MRA4s which is why the fleet dwindle to dust, 737NG USN just ordered another 8 RAAF another 2 Germany now ordered 1.5 maybe. LOL P8s can use any of the 737 models, 1000s sat still parked in storage. one of the reasons the Wedgetail new builds were cut.

Wartonman
Wartonman
13 days ago
Reply to  Johan

There seems to be a lot of misinformation on the MRA4, from “Has never flown” to “Only a reconfigured MR2”. This was so far from the truth. We actually flew 8k hours on the three development aircraft PA1, 2 and 3, even achieving a Polar flight, torpedo separation etc. As I understand it, the P8 does not yet have a sonobuoy capability as the Yanks haven’t yet fully developed high altitude launched Buoys. The UK developed the Mission System for MRA4 with Boeing as the lead contractor. Are we just buying the same package back in a 737 with a… Read more »

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
21 days ago

This is more good news for sure. I don’t have any knowledge of how these aircraft can protect our own submarines and detect other submarines. Can anyone with knowledge give an outline (without giving too much away)!?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

Russian sub leaves port. Spotted by NATO satellites. Spotted by Norwegian MPA. Spotted by other NATO ISTAR assets. Info shared amongst NATO allies and especially UK USA through 5 eyes. Sub pings IUSS, often in multiple locations. Dam Neck monitors this and informs Northwood and Commander Ops, who is also FO Submarines. Northwood informs RAF, and RN assets like the on call T23 or SSN if available. P8 dispatched to area. Drops sonar bouys, which hopefully detect Sub. P8 reports location of sub to Northwood, who inform High Wycombe, NATO SAC Atlantic in Norfolk, or whatever he’s called these days,… Read more »

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
21 days ago

Thanks Daniele very helpful. Do you know if MAD is still a useful technology which would materially add to the capability if fitted?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

That’s beyond me I’m afraid. I know what a MAD is but I let others who know the tech answer.

Paul T
Paul T
21 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

The Indian Navy has MAD Capability on their P8’s,would they be happy to share Data on it’s effectiveness im not so sure.

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
21 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Interesting that MAD is an option. I was thinking it perhaps wasn’t compatible with the high flying 737 airframe.

Deep32
Deep32
21 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

For MAD to be effective, the carrier aircraft needs to be low level, down in the weeds so to speak.
That’s not the P8’s natural environment, unlike the Nimrod’s at the time.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
21 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Also MAD is pretty useless in some environments.

Deep32
Deep32
21 days ago

That’s pretty much it mate, the general idea being to keep tabs on it as soon as it departs home port, and keep in contact for the duration, with MPAs conducting hot handovers as and when required, even if we have a SSN following.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Thought so! Thanks for confirmation.

Lots of sneaky beaky to add of course and not for this forum.

Deep32
Deep32
21 days ago

Yeees.🤫

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
21 days ago

6 out of 9 aircraft now delivered. Returning to a limited MPA capability. We need a few more of these aircraft to help track pesky Russian subs and screen our nuclear deterrent returning and leaving on patrols. Say 5 to 6 more aircraft should be a priority.
As an island nation we shouldnt forget our lessons from history. Namely that submarine warfare almost defeated the UK in 2 world wars.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Agreed. Never mind having 300 Challenger tanks. These are needed, and of direct use in defence and as deployable assets.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
21 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Are the 9 P8s absolutely it or is it just for now? Is there any talk or open mindedness by the MOD to getting 3-5 more even with the planned uptake of drones in sea surveillance roles?

Paul T
Paul T
21 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Thinking outside the box for a moment, regarding Eire /ROI and whether or not they should be responsible for their own QRA, wouldn’t it make more sense for them to operate a number of P8’s instead, seeing how vital the Maritime Area is around them ?.

JR
JR
19 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

I agree this would make perfect sense. But the armed forces of the ROI are a long long way off operating the P-8. The cost, the infrastructure, the basing, the weapons.

But I don’t understand why they don’t have a squadron of say 6 x USAF F-16s, to take care of there own QRA.

Geoffi
Geoffi
19 days ago

Anyone know what has happened to UK F-35B #22 to #27 ???

Paul42
Paul42
16 days ago

Boeing have now completed manufacture of the ninth and final P8 Posiedon for the UK. The aircraft ZP809 appeared on the flight line at Renton Washington fully painted on 21st of August. The 7th & 8th aircraft have flown and are at Boeing field being outfitted with mission systems.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
1 hour ago

The 7th Poseidon ZP807 “William Barker VC” arrived in Lossie tonight.