UK to buy P-8

Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015

In a statement released by the UK Government this morning ahead of the official SDSR announcement later today, the following plans have been laid out:

• The UK will acquire 9 new Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for maritime surveillance, anti-submarine and anti-surface ship warfare. These aircraft will also provide maritime search and rescue and surveillance capabilities over land.

• The RAF will extend the life of its Eurofighter Typhoons for 10 extra years through to 2040. A portion of the 53 UK Tranche 1 aircraft will be retained and will allow for the creation of two additional front line squadrons. This will give the RAF 7 front line squadrons, and will also fund the new Active Electronically Scanned Array radar.

It had long been speculated that the RAF Typhoon Force would be expanded, with the original Tranche 1 aircraft now planned to be retained instead of being phased out of service by 2020. These aircraft are likely to be retained for Quick Reaction Alert and aggressor roles.

Photo: Richard Collens

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