The UK government has signed a contract worth over £230 million for the RAF’s Poseidon Maritime Aircraft fleet with Boeing Defence UK (BDUK). Specialising in anti-submarine warfare, the Poseidon (P-8A) is the RAF’s multi-role maritime patrol aircraft. Working alongside the Royal Navy and close maritime allies such as the United States and Norway, Poseidon locates, identifies and tracks potentially hostile submarines operating around UK waters.
“Our new Poseidon fleet continues to grow from strength to strength and is already defending the UK’s maritime interests at home and abroad,” said UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. “This contract with Boeing Defence UK secures our critical submarine-hunting aircraft capabilities whilst also creating a home-grown training enterprise and creating over 150 British jobs.
“The Moray station’s fleet of Poseidon submarine hunting aircraft are vital to maintaining the security of the UK and our NATO allies,” added Scottish Secretary Alister Jack. “And the prosperity generated by defence employment in Scotland, alongside the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs, will help us build back better from the pandemic.”
The Poseidon fleet is operated from a new £100 million facility at RAF Lossiemouth, opened in September 2020. RAF Lossiemouth has also undergone a £75 million upgrade to the runway and other operating surfaces. It will be the future home of the UK’s fleet of Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning surveillance aircraft, Scotland’s crucial role in UK and NATO defence and security.
“I am extremely proud of the P-8A delivery team and what is yet another example of great delivery by DE&S,” noted DE&S P-8A Poseidon team leader, Malcolm French. “Placed to a tight timescale, and encompassing exacting requirements, this contract helps enable the full range of capability that Poseidon brings to be realised, sees our modern aircraft fully supported, and our personnel being trained from state-of-the-art facilities.”
Nine Poseidon, based on the Boeing 737-800, have already been ordered from Boeing by the UK. Five aircraft named the ‘Pride of Moray’, ‘City of Elgin’, ‘Terence Bulloch’, ‘Spirit of Reykjavik’ and ‘Fulmar’ are all now operating out of Lossiemouth, with four more to come later this year.