Boeing has successfully delivered the latest addition to the RAF’s P-8A Poseidon fleet, which touched down wednesday at Royal Air Force Lossiemouth. Named Terence Bulloch DSO DFC after one of the most decorated RAF pilots in Coastal Command during the Second World War, it is the third P-8A to land at the Moray base in Scotland, which is now the permanent home for the RAF’s Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA).
It closely followed the first, named Pride of Moray and the second, named City of Elgin, which both landed earlier at RAF Lossiemouth for the first time. They had been temporarily flying from nearby Kinloss Airfield since arriving in the UK in early 2020 while construction took place on a brand new hangar facility and runway at Lossiemouth.
The £100 million hangar facility – a joint investment by Boeing and the MOD – was designed and built by Boeing and its construction partner Robertson, headquartered in nearby Elgin. Over 300 people were employed on site at the project’s peak.
The hangar facility can hold three aircraft at a time, and has accommodation for two squadrons, and training and mission support facilities, including state-of-the art simulators, the first delivered by Boeing in August this year.
Boeing employees were on the ground to receive the aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth. More than 200 will work alongside the RAF at the facility when it is fully operational, maintaining and supporting the aircraft, and training the pilots and crews.
“We are hugely excited to welcome the third P-8A to the UK, and see the aircraft finally based at its permanent home, RAF Lossiemouth”, said Anna Keeling managing director of Boeing Defence UK. “We have already seen the P-8A play an active role patrolling the waters around the UK since April. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the RAF to support its growing maritime capability, and deepening our ties with the Moray community and Scotland.”
Two more P-8A aircraft have been painted at Boeing’s Renton site in the United States and are currently located at the P-8 Installation and Checkout facility in Tukwila, south of Seattle, where mission systems are installed and further testing will take place before final delivery to the RAF. All nine of the RAF’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft, based on the Next-Generation 737, are expected to be in the UK by the end of 2021.