The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has received its fifth Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), named Fulmar, from Boeing.

The aircraft flew directly from Boeing Field near Seattle to RAF Lossiemouth, completing the journey in around eight hours.

A Poseidon Commander said: “Monitoring and tracking all activity in seas around the UK is paramount to our security.

“The arrival of this latest aircraft helps to ensure that we have the continued capability to defend our waters and support our Nato partners.”

In 2016, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded a contract to Boeing for nine P-8A Poseidon MPA under a foreign military sale programme of the US Government.

The UK is procuring these multi-role Poseidon MRA1 (P-8A) aircraft to boost its surveillance and search and rescue mission capabilities. The aircraft is also capable of launching torpedos for anti-submarine warfare.

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By GlobalData

It is equipped with an APY-10 radar for high-resolution mapping, an acoustic sensor system, an electro-optical/IR turret and electronic support measures (ESM) for search and tracking capabilities.

In a statement, RAF said: “Its arrival represents another milestone in the development of Lossiemouth’s Maritime Patrol capability and it comes at a time of unprecedented submarine activity, close to UK waters.

“Poseidon MPA can react quickly to track potential threats over large areas of sea or ocean and defend our own submarine fleet.”

RAF received the third Poseidon MPA in October and the fourth a month later in November.