The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has received a new Operational Flight Trainer (OFT) to support training for RAF pilots who will operate the Poseidon MRA Mk1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft fleet.
The second simulator arrived on an Antonov AN-124 cargo plane at Glasgow Prestwick Airport. It will head to RAF Lossiemouth, the home to UK’s submarine-hunting Poseidon fleet.
The systems are part of approximately $663m (£470m) of UK Government investment.
The first simulator was delivered in August last year.
Weighing about 9.5t, the Poseidon simulators are being installed in a £100m facility built by Boeing Defence UK and Scottish business Robertson Construction.
DE&S Poseidon delivery team Training project manager Mark Corden said: “The simulators will provide specialist training for RAF pilots who will be flying the Poseidon MRA Mk 1.
“They are exact replicas of the aircraft cockpit and will incorporate very high-definition visual display systems to enhance the training benefit. They are also designed to link up with the mission simulators used by the rear crew, allowing them to train together.”
According to RAF, the simulators and facility are managed by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).
Originally manufactured by CAE, the OFT simulator is 4.39m-wide, 7.26m-long and 3.71m-high.
The OFTs and two rear-crew simulators will be installed in the new facility at RAF Lossiemouth, alongside part-task mission crew trainers, virtual maintenance trainers as well as electronic classrooms.
Corden added: “It’s an essential part of making sure that the aircrew is fully prepared to operate the growing fleet of aircraft. Although this is the second Poseidon simulator to be delivered to the UK, it is still very exciting to see it arrive in Prestwick on the Antonov.
“Its size makes it too big to be transported by any RAF aircraft. The Antonov is one of only a few aircraft in the world large enough to carry it.”
In November 2019, Boeing delivered the first of nine P-8A Poseidon MRA Mk.1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft to RAF.