Britain receives first ‘Poseidon’ aircraft in bid to restore submarine-hunting muscle
LONDON – The British on Tuesday began to restore their once-formidable capabilities for maritime patrol with the arrival to the Royal Air Force base at Kinloss, Scotland, of the first of a fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon jets.
Flown by a crew from the RAF’s CXX Squadron, the first of nine P-8A’s, ordered by the British in 2016 at a cost of £3 billion ($3.9 billion), arrived pretty much on cue at the Kinloss base that will be its temporary home until infrastructure and other work at its permanent base at Lossiemouth is completed later this year.
A recent tweet RAF tweet said the aircraft had already operated some tactical missions.
Doug Barry, the senior air analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank in London, says the aircraft landing in Scotland is a big moment for the Royal Air Force.
“The arrival of the first P-8A is symbolic in that it marks the UK beginning to get back into the fixed-wing anti-submarine warfare business after a gap of a decade,” he said.
The British are scheduled to ramp up their P-8A numbers rapidly as a resurgence in Russian submarine activity continues to challenge Western resources in the sector.
A second aircraft is due to arrive at Lossiemouth by the end of March, three further P-8A’s will be handed over by the end of the year with the four remaining machines all due to arrive by the fourth quarter of 2021.
Full operating capability is scheduled for 2024. The aircraft are known as Poseidon MRA Mk1 in RAF service.
Sign up for our Early Bird Brief Get the defense industry’s most comprehensive news and information straight to your inbox
Thanks for signing up!
Sign up for the Early Bird Brief, the defense industry’s most comprehensive news and information, straight to your inbox.
By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief.
With Britain now out of the EU, the topic of including nonmember states in the bloc’s defense-cooperation scheme has renewed urgency.
Late last year, commenting on Russian nuclear submarine activity, top US Navy officer Adm. James Foggo, commander of US Naval Forces Europe and Africa, reported 2019 as being “one of the busiest years that I can remember, and I’ve been doing this since 1983.”
First Sea Lord Adm. Tony Radakin said: “The arrival of the first Poseidon marks a significant upgrade in the UK’s ability to conduct anti-submarine operations. This will give the UK the ability to conduct long-range patrols and integrate seamlessly with our NATO allies to provide a world-leading capability.”
In co-operation with the US sea service and the Royal Norwegian Air Force, who have purchased five P-8A’s, the RAF will attempt to plug any gaps in anti-submarine defenses in the North Atlantic.
One of the British P-8A’s main tasks will be to provide cover for Royal Navy Trident missile submarines emerging and returning to their base at Faslane in Scotland.
Barrie said that for the last decade the “UK has had to look elsewhere to support the deployment of its strategic deterrent to try to ensure there was no unwanted company.”
The US, France, Canada and others have all had to step in at times to provide reconnaissance and other capabilities to help glug the hole in British fixed-wing, anti-submarine defenses caused when a government strategic defence and security review in 2010 controversially cancelled the MRA4 program without looking to purchase a replacement.
Despite hoping for the best, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says his country must “plan for the worst.”
The British have sought to retain their maritime patrol skills over the last few years by placing aircrew and operators with allies like the United States.
The new aircraft entered service with the RAF late last year but the platform has until now been based at the Jacksonville, Florida, naval air station where British crew training is taking place ahead of eventually transitioning to Lossiemouth.
Training and simulation facilities are part of a new £132 million ($171 million) infrastructure project at Lossiemouth jointly funded by the MoD and Boeing, which is scheduled for completion later this year.
Flight operations and planning, maintenance, crew rooms and space for three aircraft will also be included in the facility. More than 200 Boeing employees will be permanently based on the base.
Some £470 million ($612 mission) in total is being invested in Lossiemouth, which is also home to part of the Typhoon fighter fleet, upgrading runways, building a new air traffic tower and other improvements.
The Revivalists Surprise Release New ‘Made in Muscle Shoals’ EP New Orleans-based band the Revivalists left their home base in the Big Easy to record their surprise new EP, cutting tracks in another Southern city famous for its musical contributions. … read more
He’s quietly transforming muscle cars from an unmarked garage The men talk of Plum Crazy Purple, Vitamin C Orange and Sassy Grass Green. These are the colors of their childhood. These are the colors of classic cars that bring back memories of … read more
As Amazon.com flexes its muscle, Seattle moves to curb corporate political donations SEATTLE (Reuters) – Seattle, the Pacific Northwest city where home-grown online retailer Amazon.com has increasingly flexed its political muscle, is expected to approve on Monday legislation banning political … read more
The Only Thing ‘Muscle Confusion’ Confuses Is Our Poor Small Brains The New York Times reported Wednesday morning on a small study from Spain that tested the theory of “muscle confusion,” or an idea that muscles need to be tricked … read more
Check out this huge American muscle car barn find Tom Cotter strikes again. If you aren’t familiar with Tom Cotter’s work and you’re interested in discovering barn find cars, it’s time you get to know the man. He stars in … read more
Movie stars and muscle cars ready for Kissimmee auction Start 2020 right by adding a new collector car to your garage The 2020 Mecum Kissimmee auction begins almost immediately in the new year, with more than 3,500 cars ready to … read more
Muscle madness: Mustang vs. Challenger vs. Camaro Three Legendary American Muscle Cars Duke it Out No doubt about it: Cars have improved drastically by almost every measure over the past few decades. High marks for safety, fuel economy, and reliability … read more
Fast Fords and more muscle cars ready for Missouri auction Grab yourself a classic car or truck in time for the holidays We may be into December, but there is still time for one of the final collector car auctions … read more
SpaceX launches payload of ‘muscle mice,’ barley grains to space station – Fox News SpaceX launched a 3-ton cargo payload to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, which included barley grains for a beer experiment, mice for muscle-building research and … read more
Army is flexing muscle it hasn’t used much in 18 years, top leader says The Army intends to train at the division level in its next major exercises in Europe and the Indo-Pacific, testing the movement of a large force … read more
Massive marketing muscle pushes 3D mammograms, despite no evidence they save more lives, investigation shows – USA TODAY Liz Szabo Kaiser Health News Published 8:51 AM EDT Oct 18, 2019 When Dr. Worta McCaskill-Stevens made an appointment for a mammogram … read more
Boosting women’s testosterone can increase muscle mass and endurance By Linda Carroll (Reuters Health) – Artificially raising women’s testosterone levels may result in improved physical performance, boosting endurance and muscle mass, a new study finds. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled … read more
Rare muscle cars discovered among decaying tractor trailers These classic cars are definitely not in showroom condition. Patrick Glenn Nichols spends a good portion of his time hunting down American muscle car barn finds. It’s the kind of work that … read more
Relive the Muscle Car Glory Days in This 1970 Chevelle SS In the mid-1960s, General Motors was awash with cash and the muscle car wars were upon us. Even though GM instituted a racing ban in 1963, its subsidiaries were … read more
Classic Corvettes and vintage muscle cars fill this dream garage Mike Walsh owns and operates The Early Vette Shop in Shohola, Pennsylvania—a quaint mountain town that’s become a hot rodder’s home away from home for his supportive customers and good … read more
Muscle Shoals co-founder and guitarist Jimmy Johnson dies at 76 He had worked alongside big names like Aretha Franklin and Paul Simon L-R David Hood, Jimmy Johnson and Junior Lowe of The Swampers. Credit: House Of Fame LLC/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty … read more
Classic Corvettes and Vintage Muscle Cars Fill This Dream Garage (W/Video) Mike Walsh owns and operates The Early Vette Shop in Shohola, Pennsylvania—a quaint mountain town that’s become a hot rodder’s home away from home for his supportive customers and … read more
Jimmy Johnson, Muscle Shoals Guitarist Who Backed Soul & Rock Giants, Dead at 76 Jimmy Johnson, the guitarist for the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (a.k.a. “the Swampers”) whose foundational R&B-based playing could be heard on hundreds of records, including iconic … read more
Go inside Rick’s Garage, an 80+car muscle dream museum As a young lad growing up in SoCal during the 1950s and early 1960s, Rick Lorenzen came to appreciate the cars of the era, from muscle cars to gassers. He began … read more
After Anthony Martial sustained a muscle injury vs. Crystal Palace, reports indicate Alexis Sanchez’s future at Manchester United may not be over after all. ESPN FC’s Alejandro Moreno assesses Martial’s injury, Sanchez’s role in his absence and what this means … read more
UPDATE 1-Germany has fiscal muscle to counter next crisis – Scholz * FinMin says low debt level puts Germany in strong position * Says if crisis hits, gov’t can spend up to 50 bln euros (Adds Scholz quote, background) By … read more
World-class collection of barn find muscle cars discovered This just goes to show what kind of cars some people have sitting around. As car lovers, we’ve probably all driven past a field of fenced-in cars and thought about stopping to … read more
Rare GM muscle cars stashed in old furniture factory basement All these cars are GMs and many are in surprisingly good condition. Everyone likes a good barn find. It’s the modern equivalent to uncovering pirate treasure, as you find something … read more