The third of nine P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft has arrived in Scotland from the United States.
Fantastic moment for Moray and for the @RoyalAirForce.
An awful time for our adversaries. There's nowhere to hide now… pic.twitter.com/Ug70Sks3vz
— Dan Chorley (@DanChorley) October 14, 2020
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.”
Station Commander of RAF Lossiemouth, Group Captain Chris Layden, said in a news release:
“Today is a proud moment for Team Lossie, ushering in a new era for the Station delivering combat air power and maritime patrol operations over and around the United Kingdom.
Yesterday I had the privilege of landing the first Typhoon on our newly resurfaced runways, and today I had the pleasure of welcoming in the first Poseidon to its permanent home in Moray. This is just the beginning of our expansion and modernisation as one of the RAF’s most strategically important Stations in the United Kingdom.”
The £75m programme to resurface RAF Lossiemouth’s runways and operating surfaces began in January 2020, with the work being carried out by VolkerFitzpatrick. The work has involved stripping, strengthening, and resurfacing all of the runways, taxiways and dispersals.
From July 2020 both runways were out of use while the intersection was resurfaced, which meant no fixed wing flying could take place. Quick Reaction Alert temporarily moved to Leuchars Station in Fife, with Typhoon training continuing at Kinloss Barracks.
The RAF say that by Friday 16th October, all Typhoon and Poseidon operations including Quick Reaction Alert will be back at their permanent home in Moray.