Next year the Royal Air Force hopes to take delivery of its first Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, ending a nine-year capability gap in this vital arena of warfare. Tim Ripley looks at some of the challenges the crews will face.

The RAF’s maritime challenge

An RAF Typhoon FGR4 pilot from No II(AC) Squadron scrambles to his jet during a QRA drill at RAF Lossiemouth. This year the Moray base will welcome another Typhoon squadron to help defend NATO operations in the North Atlantic.
Jamie Hunter

The depths of the North Atlantic have long been the venue for ‘Great Power’ rivalry. Just over a century ago the first German submarines ventured out to attack British supply convoys crossing from America. In World War Two, U-boats came within a whisker of strangling Britain’s lifeline to the Americas. And throughout the Cold War, the Soviet fleet of almost 200 nuclear and conventionally powered submarines challenged NATO naval supremacy in the Atlantic.

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