A number of U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft are using Glasgow Prestwick Airport to patrol the North Atlantic.
Four P-8 Poseidon aircraft arrived this week according to Open Source Intelligence account Military Monitoring World on Twitter.
Welcome to #PrestwickAirport now known as NAS Prestwick with 4x @USNavy P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) operating from the Ayrshire base conducting real-world sorties patrolling the Greenland-Iceland-UK (GIUK) gap #AvGeek #RadioGeek #MilMonWorld pic.twitter.com/I6A5tqq4r2
— Military Monitoring World ? (@MilMonWorld) November 14, 2020
In case you don’t already, I’d recommend following Military Monitoring World here if you’re interested in Open Source Intelligence content like the above.
It is understood that the four P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft are operating from the airport patrolling the Greenland-Iceland-UK (GIUK) gap.
Glasgow Prestwick Airport, for anyone interested, is a passenger and freight airport serving the west of Scotland situated 32 miles from Glasgow. It is the less busy of the two airports serving the area, the busier one being Glasgow Airport.
Glasgow Prestwick Airport was purchased by the Scottish Government in November 2013 to protect jobs and safeguard a strategic infrastructure asset. The airport operates as a commercial business at an arm’s length from the Government.
The airport frequently hosts military aircraft crossing the atlantic or supporting exercises.
Nine Poseidon MRA1 aircraft have been ordered, the first of which landed on British soil for the first time in February 2020.
According to an RAF statement at the time:
“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.”
It is presumed that the US aircraft are not using the Lossiemouth base due to ongoing construction work on facilities to host additional P-8 aircraft.