RAF's Fourth P-8A Poseidon Arrives At Lossiemouth

The aircraft has been named Spirit of Reykjavik in honour of the role Iceland’s capital and people played in the Battle of the Atlantic.

The fourth Royal Air Force P-8A Poseidon has arrived at RAF Lossiemouth from the US.

The aircraft touched down at the base in Moray, Scotland, at around 16:45 on Tuesday evening.

The station has been undergoing a makeover worth more than £400m in total ahead of the arrival of the submarine hunters, including a revamp of its runways.

Last month, the Air Force's three other P-8As arrived at the base for the first time, having previously operated from the nearby Kinloss Barracks.

The latest P-8A Poseidon has been named 'Spirit of Reykjavik' in honour of the role played by the Icelandic capital and its people in the Battle of the Atlantic.

During the Second World War, a new airfield, seaplane base and refuelling port at Reykjavik extended the range of RAF aircraft – almost immediately removing German U-boats' immunity from air attacks in the North Atlantic.

Number 120 (‘CXX’) Squadron, which has been selected to be the first RAF Poseidon squadron, deployed a flight of seven Liberators to RAF Reykjavik in September 1942.

Officer Commanding CXX Squadron, Wing Commander James Hanson, said the anti-submarine tactics used today can be traced back to the "missions flown from Reykjavik".

Personnel on the runway with the fourth Royal Air Force P-8A Poseidon after it arrived at RAF Lossiemouth
The aircraft has been named Spirit of Reykjavik in honour of the role the Icelandic capital played in the Battle of the Atlantic (Picture: RAF Lossiemouth).

The P-8As are equipped with sensors and weapons systems designed for anti-submarine warfare.

The aircraft are also capable of carrying out surveillance and search and rescue missions, according to the RAF.

They fill the role left by the RAF's previous maritime patrol aircraft, the Nimrod, which was retired in 2010. 

Nine P-8A Poseidons are set to eventually operate from RAF Lossiemouth – costing £3bn in total. All nine aircraft are expected to be in the UK by the end of 2021.

In July, a new £100m "state-of-the-art" facility at RAF Lossiemouth for the P-8A Poseidons was handed over to the Ministry of Defence.

The new facility can hold up to three of the RAF's eventual nine P-8A Poseidon aircraft and is 33,000 square metres in size.