Recently we reported that aircrew have commenced the flying phase of training to fly the Poseidon MRA Mk1 (P-8A), the UK’s new maritime patrol aircraft.
The RAF say in a release that Pilots, Weapons System Officers and Weapons Systems Operators have entered the simulator and flying phase of their six-month course.
The personnel, from CXX Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth, are being trained by a mix of US Navy and RAF P-8A ‘seedcorn’ one-way exchange instructors on a course which covers a substantial range of topics.
The Poseidon is based on the Boeing 737-800NG aircraft, the supply chain for which is already supported by UK industry, providing several hundred direct UK jobs. UK manufacturers also provide specialist sub-systems for the P-8A, for example Marshalls (auxiliary fuel tanks), Martin Baker (crew seats), GE (Weapon Pylons) and GKN Aerospace (windshields).
The first course have qualified and are coming home soon; the second course is well into its training and the third arrives soon. The initial groundcrew cadre is also growing with some already back at Lossie.