The British Air Force received the first base patrol aircraft P-8A Poseidon
According to the British Ministry of Defense, on October 31, 2019 at the Boeing corporation in Seattle (Washington, USA), a ceremony was held to transfer to the Royal Air Force the first Boeing P-8A Poseidon base patrol aircraft built for them (the British designation Poseidon MRA 1). The plane with its own name Pride of Moray has the British military number ZP801 (provisional U.S. registration N456DS) was transferred to the 54th squadron of the British Air Force and flew to the Jacksonville Florida U.S. Air Force Base on the same day on October 31. The arrival of the aircraft in the UK is scheduled for March 2020 ..The first Boeing P-8A Poseidon base patrol aircraft received by the Royal Air Force (Poseidon MRA 1) (own name Pride of Moray, British military number ZP801, provisional U.S. registration N456DS). Seattle (USA), 10/31/2019 (c) Woodys Aeroimages
This aircraft ZP801 (temporary U.S. registration N456DS) made its first flight in Seattle on July 13, 2019, after which a search and aiming system and other special equipment were installed on it.
On July 11, 2016, the UK government signed an intergovernmental agreement with the United States to acquire nine Boeing P-8A Poseidon base patrol aircraft through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The cost of the agreement is 3 billion pounds; payment will be made within 10 years. The price also includes weapons (anti-ship missiles Boeing Harpoon II and anti-submarine torpedoes Mk 54) and sonar buoys.
The delivery of all nine R-8A aircraft to the British side (military numbers ZP801 - ZP809) is scheduled for 2020-2021. As part of the British Air Force, these aircraft will be the armament of the 120th and 201st squadrons based on the Lossimuth Air Station in Scotland, and the British government will spend about 100 million pounds to create the appropriate infrastructure at this base. The first R-8A, however, was temporarily transferred to the 54th squadron, which is part of the retraining of the British Air Force personnel (OCU) on E-3D, RC-135V, P-8A and Sentinel R.1 aircraft.
The announcement of plans to acquire nine Boeing P-8A base patrol aircraft was one of the significant points published by the UK government in November 2015, National Security Strategy and Strategic Defense and Security Review 2015 - SDSR 2015).
The purchase of R-8A aircraft will restore the potential of the base patrol and anti-submarine aircraft, completely lost by the United Kingdom after the previous “Strategic Defense and Security Review” (SDSR-2010, October 2010) announced the cancellation of the Nimrod base patrol aircraft program MRA.4 and the complete cessation of conversion to this option and decommissioning of these aircraft (moreover, several Nimrod MRA.4 machines that completed the conversion have already been scrapped).
Senior leaders of the British Air Force and Navy have repeatedly expressed concern that the actual liquidation of the British base patrol aircraft following the results of the SDSR-2010 has the most negative impact on the combat stability of the British naval strategic nuclear forces, represented by four Vanguard-type ballistic missile submarines equipped with ballistic missiles Trident II.
The UK became the third actual foreign recipient of R-8 aircraft after India (which received eight P-8I aircraft from 2012 to 2015 and ordered four more, with the intention of acquiring another 10) and Australia (which ordered 12 R-8A aircraft, started delivery in 2017 , so far nine aircraft have been delivered). In addition, to date, Norway (five R-8A aircraft with delivery in 2021–2022) and New Zealand (four aircraft with delivery in 2023) have also ordered R-8A aircraft and announced plans for their purchase also in South Korea and Saudi Arabia
The U.S. Navy has so far ordered 117 R-8A aircraft, of which about 85 have been delivered since 2012.