A Royal Air Force P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft is currently off the western coast of Scotland.
Why have I published this? Many people I speak to in the real world appear to still be under the impression that there have been no Maritime Patrol Aircraft in Scotland since Nimrod was retired. The point of this article is just to highlight that the aircraft are out there day after day.
Recently, the fifth new P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft landed in Scotland.
Nine Poseidon MRA Mk.1 aircraft have been ordered for the Royal Air Force.
According to the Royal Air Force, Poseidon is primarily tasked with patrolling the seas, “hunting potentially hostile submarines and helping to defend our nuclear deterrent”.
P-8 Poseidon Quick Facts, courtesy of Boeing
- The P-8 can fly up to 41,000 feet and travel up to 490 knots.
- P-8 offers higher reliability – the 737 has a 99.8 percent dispatch rate, with more than 4,000 aircraft flying, and 6,600+ orders.
- The P-8 is engineered for 25 years/25,000 hours in the harshest maritime flight regimes, including extended operations in icing environments.
- The P-8 can fly in all flight regimes, and can self-deploy up to 4,500 miles from base without refuelling.
- Dual CFM-56B commercial engines each provide 27,000 pounds of thrust, greatly enhancing climb and flight characteristics over turboprop equipped aircraft.
- Each engine is equipped with a 180KVA engine driven generator. Combined with the 90KVA commercial APU, this provides 450KVA of power. P-8 possesses significant growth capacity for equipment with excess onboard power and cooling capacity.
- P-8 has twice the sonobuoy processing capability and can carry 30 percent more sonobuoys than any maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft currently flying.
- P-8 has the ability to control unmanned air vehicles (level 2 control-receive) to extend sensor reach.
- P-8 offers commonality with 737 fleet and other military platforms that use the 737 airframe.
The RAF added in a release last year:
“It uses the very latest in cutting-edge technology to detect, identify and monitor hostile contacts both above and below the waves. It can carry up to 129 sonobuoys to search for enemy submarines and can be armed with Mk54 torpedoes if required to attack enemy submarines. Our Poseidon aircraft are operated by 54 Squadron and 120 Squadron.“