The UK Defence Secretary, the Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon, announced today the numbers of the UK’s two new Maritime Patrol Aircraft squadrons.
Nine new P-8A Poseidon aircraft will be operated by number 120 Squadron and number 201 Squadron from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “Today is an important milestone in the P-8A Poseidon programme which will bring to the Royal Air Force an unrivalled maritime patrol capability. The advanced state-of-the-art sensors aboard the P-8A will provide global protection to UK, NATO and our Allies’ submarines and warships, and enhance and complement the UK’s standing search and rescue responsibilities.
“It is also a great pleasure to welcome back 120 and 201 Squadrons. Both have long and distinguished records serving in the maritime role and together they will help forge the next generation Royal Air Force.”
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is the US Navy’s next generation long-range maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, anti-shipping, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
The aircraft design is based on the proven fuselage of the 737-800 and the wings of the 737-900. The P-8A aircraft has increased gross weight capability in comparison with the 737-800.