RAF Receives First P-8 Poseidon Aircraft

It will form part of Britain's new fleet of maritime patrol aircraft.

The RAF's new P-8A Poseidon aircraft lands at NAS Jacksonville (Picture: MOD).

The Royal Air Force has received its first Poseidon P-8A maritime patrol aircraft.

The airplane was handed over to the RAF during a ceremony at Boeing's defence headquarters in Seattle, Washington, USA.

Equipped with sensors and anti-submarine warfare weapons systems, it will also have the capability to conduct surveillance and search and rescue missions.

It has a strengthened fuselage for low-altitude operations, as well as having a surface search radar.

The RAF says, when in service, the fleet of P-8s will help to protect Britain's nuclear submarines and new aircraft carriers, as well as tracking foreign subs near the UK's coastline.

The first plane carries the name 'Pride of Moray', to celebrate the Maritime Patrol aircraft heritage in the Scottish region, and also to pay tribute to its future home at RAF Lossiemouth.

The RAF's new P-8 fleet will take over the role previously held by the Nimrod fleet which was decommissioned in 2010, and retired at RAF Waddington the following year.

Expected to arrive in the UK in early spring 2020, the plane is expected to be joined by eight other Poseidon aircraft at Lossiemouth in the autumn of next year.

Here's a closer look at the new aircraft (Pictures: MOD):