Poseidon, the UK's New Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Takes to the Skies
(Source: Royal Air Force; issued July 13, 2019)
The first of Britain’s new fleet of nine maritime patrol aircraft has taken to the skies. The flight of the Poseidon MRA Mk1 (P-8A) was completed successfully at the hands of Boeing test pilots.

Following this first test flight, the aircraft will transfer from Boeing Commercial Airplanes to Boeing Defense, Space and Security to be fitted out with the Poseidon-specific military systems. The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to the Royal Air Force, initially at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, in October 2019 and is due to arrive in the UK in early-Spring 2020.

“It has been fantastic to meet with the Boeing team who build the Poseidon aircraft and to see our first Poseidon aircraft, ZP801, take to the skies on its inaugural flight. We look forward to the aircraft being delivered to Royal Air Force ownership in October,” said Group Captain Shaun Gee, P-8A Programme Director.

Air Commodore Richard Barrow, Senior Responsible Owner for the Poseidon Programme, said: “The first cadre of RAF engineers and aircrew have been trained on the P-8A Poseidon which marks the resurgence of the RAF’s long-range maritime patrol capability. The Poseidon MRA Mk 1 will enhance the UK’s maritime patrol capability with advanced, state-of-the-art, Anti-Submarine Warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare sensors. This is an exciting time for the Royal Air Force especially for those based at RAF Lossiemouth”

Poseidon ZP801 will also carry the name Pride of Moray. This name celebrates the Maritime Patrol Aircraft heritage of Moray as well as looking forward to the Poseidon’s future home in RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland.

The RAF will procure a total of nine Poseidon aircraft which will be based at RAF Lossiemouth from Autumn 2020. The Poseidon will provide a globally deployable fifth-generation maritime patrol capability; specifically, the Poseidon will work side-by-side with the Royal Navy in securing the seas around the UK and abroad.


Britain Deploys Destroyer to Middle East

HMS Duncan

(Source: UK Ministry of Defence blog; issued July 14, 2019)

There is widespread coverage this morning of the news that HMS Duncan is due to deploy to the Gulf. Most outlets lead with the angle that Britain is to deploy a second warship to the Gulf, amid rising tensions in the region.

Papers note that while HMS Duncan was always due to deploy to the Gulf, HMS Montrose and HMS Duncan’s deployments will overlap for a period of time, before Duncan takes over from Montrose, which has pre-planned maintenance.

A Government spokesperson said: “As part of our long-standing presence in the Gulf, HMS Duncan is deploying to the region to ensure we maintain a continuous maritime security presence while HMS Montrose comes off task for pre-planned maintenance and crew change over.

This will ensure that the UK alongside international partners can continue to support freedom of navigation for vessels transiting through this vital shipping lane.”


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