The first Boeing P-8A Poseidon for
the United Kingdom Royal Air Force (RAF) took off from Renton,
Wash last week, marking the first flight
of this inaugural UK P-8A.
During the 90-minute flight, key
testing took place before the aircraft touched down and moved to
the next phase of preparation before customer delivery,
installation of military systems.
“This is a great
milestone in the UK P-8A Poseidon’s journey to the UK, as we are
one step closer to its arrival in Scotland,” said Air Commodore
Richard Barrow, the senior responsible owner for the UK’s P-8A
program. “The platform will enhance the UK’s maritime patrol
capability with advanced, state-of-the-art technology.”
P-8A Poseidon fleet will support maritime surveillance,
anti-submarine warfare and anti-ship warfare for the UK, and will increase protection of the UK’s nuclear deterrent and Queen
Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.
The first of nine P-8As
ordered by the UK now moves to the P-8 Installation and Checkout
facility in Tukwila, Wash., where mission systems are installed
and further testing happens before final delivery to the customer
later this year.
When the aircraft is delivered it will first fly
to U.S. Naval Air Station Jacksonville for additional preparation
and training by UK personnel before flying home to the UK.
will take delivery of ZP801 later this year and it will move to
the UK in early 2020.
The United Kingdom is one of six
international customers for the P-8A Poseidon. As a direct
commercial sale, India has received eight of the P-8I variant to
date with four more in production. The U.S. Navy is on contract to
receive 111 with the potential for additional quantities based on
the fleet’s needs.
As a cooperative partner with the Maritime
Patrol and Reconnaissance Program Office, Australia began
receiving their P-8A aircraft in 2016 with eight delivered and
four more in production; Norway will begin receiving their five
P-8As in 2022; both New Zealand and South Korea have signed
agreements with the U.S. Navy to purchase four and six aircraft
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