RAF

First Training Simulator For RAF's P-8A Poseidon Fleet Delivered

The simulator was flown in from the US on a specially-chartered Antonov AN-124 cargo plane.

The first flight training simulator for the RAF's new submarine-hunting jets has been delivered to RAF Lossiemouth.

The simulator is one of two that will be installed in the new £100 million facility at the Moray base which will also hold other training devices, as well as three of the RAF's eventual nine P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

The first of the "game-changing" fleet was delivered to the RAF last October

The simulator, known as an operational flight trainer (OFT), is able to simulate complex training scenarios and reduce the cost of carrying out live, in-flight procedures.

Mark Corden, project manager for training in the Poseidon delivery team, said: "The OFT simulators provide training specifically for the pilots who will be flying the Poseidon aircraft.

"They also have the compatibility to link up with the mission simulators used by the rear crew, allowing them to train together.

"It’s an essential part of making sure the pilots are fully prepared to operate the new fleet of aircraft."

The full-scale Poseidon cockpit replica was driven more than 200 miles from Prestwick Airport to the base after being flown in from Orlando, Florida.

It was transported by a specially-chartered Antonov AN-124 cargo aircraft.

The simulator was driven to RAF Lossiemouth from Prestwick Airport after being flown in from Florida (Picture: MOD).

"The weight of the simulator is not such an issue," said Mr Corden.

"It’s the width and height, which make it too big to be transported by any RAF aircraft, such as a C-130J, A400M or C-17.

"The Antonov is one of only a few aircraft in the world large enough to transport it."

The simulator and new facility are part of a £470 million investment at RAF Lossiemouth.

From this autumn, the base will be the headquarters of the P-8A Poseidons which are currently operating from nearby Kinloss Barracks.

Two OFTs and two rear-crew simulators will also eventually be installed in the new facility at RAF Lossiemouth, as well as part-task mission crew trainers, virtual maintenance trainers and electronic classrooms, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said.

The P-8A is a multi-role Maritime Patrol Aircraft, equipped with sensors and weapon systems for anti-submarine warfare, surface surveillance and search and rescue missions.

The RAF is expected to receive its ninth and final P-8A Poseidon by the end of 2021.

Cover image: MOD.