RAF aircrew have commenced the flying phase of training to fly the Poseidon MRA Mk1 (P-8A), the UK's new maritime patrol aircraft.

Pilots, weapon system officers and weapons systems operators have entered the simulator and flying phase of their six-month course. Meanwhile engineering personnel are similarly progressing through their course at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida.

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. This includes being trained to fly at medium and low level over the sea, so that the mission crew can train in Anti-Submarine Warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare.

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. The RAF will procure a total of nine aircraft which will be based at RAF Lossiemouth from late 2020.