The RAF’s P-8 Poseidon fleet is now complete, but despite this landmark moment, the hard work to bring it to full operational capacity is only beginning. Jim Winchester reports from RAF Lossiemouth
The last of nine Boeing Poseidon MRA 1s was delivered to its home at Lossiemouth, Moray on January 11, marking an important milestone in regenerating the RAF’s maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) fleet nearly 12 years after the Nimrod was retired with no immediate replacement.
In April 2020 120 Sqn declared Poseidon Initial Operational Capability (IOC) with the arrival of the second aircraft at Kinloss Barracks in Moray, Scotland – the squadron’s ‘bolthole’ location – while infrastructure was built at Lossiemouth. An interim capability is expected to be achieved in the summer of 2022. The distinction between these two states is largely a matter of growth of aircrews and engineers to a point that enables sustained operation.
The Poseidon p