The second Royal Air Force P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft has flown for the first time.
The aircraft took to the skies to conduct the initial Boeing test flight before the essential mission equipment is installed, according to a tweet.
The second @RoyalAirForce P-8A Poseidon ZP802, City of Elgin, took to the skies earlier this week to conduct the initial @Boeing test flight before the essential mission equipment is installed. The aircraft will be delivered to @CXX_Squadron early next year. #ItsComing pic.twitter.com/21HIE2r5Rp
— P-8A Poseidon RAF (@P8A_PoseidonRAF) September 19, 2019
Earlier in the year, we reported that aircrew have commenced the flying phase of training to fly the Poseidon MRA Mk1. Pilots, Weapons System Officers and Weapons Systems Operators entered the simulator and flying phase of their six-month course.
The personnel, from CXX Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth, are being trained by a mix of US Navy and RAF P-8A ‘seedcorn’ one-way exchange instructors on a course which covers a substantial range of topics.
The Poseidon is based on the Boeing 737-800NG aircraft, the supply chain for which is already supported by UK industry, providing several hundred direct UK jobs. UK manufacturers also provide specialist sub-systems for the P-8A, for example Marshalls (auxiliary fuel tanks), Martin Baker (crew seats), GE (Weapon Pylons) and GKN Aerospace (windshields).
In January, Boeing was awarded an almost $2.5 billion contract to produce 19 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for the US Navy, Norway and the United Kingdom.
Ten of the aircraft were for the US Navy, four for the UK and five for Norway.
The UK intends to procure 9 of the aircraft in total and had already ordered five. The January purchase brought the total UK order of P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft up to 9.