A giant transporter has delivered the ﬁrst simulator to train Britain’s future guardians of our nuclear deterrent.
An Antonov AN-124 cargo aircraft touched down at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, bringing the ﬁrst Operational Flight Trainer for our new ﬂeet of maritime patrol aircraft. Two P8 Poseidons – Pride of Moray and City of Elgin – are now in service with the RAF.
Crewed by Air Force and Royal Navy personnel, the aircraft conduct long-range patrols of the North Sea and Atlantic on the lookout for any threats to navy submarines, especially the Trident boat performing the nuclear deterrent patrol.
In addition the Poseidons give military leaders additional information on activity in waters of interest to the UK.
A £100m complex to support the new submarine-hunting jets – which are modelled on a Boeing 737-800 airliner – is being built at Lossiemouth, with two ﬂight deck simulators linked to the mission simulators used by the rear cabin personnel, allowing a ﬂight crew to practise sorties without leaving Scottish soil.
The ﬂight deck trainers are not especially heavy, but their size and shape make them too large for any aircraft in the RAF’s inventory to transport them.
It was moved by road to the coast of the Moray Firth for installation.
The two British Poseidons are using Kinloss, just west along the coast from Lossiemouth, as their temporary base until their permanent home is ready to accommodate them this autumn.
The remaining seven aircraft bought by Whitehall in a £3bn deal will be delivered by the end of next year.
Navy News. (2020) New Simulator for Submarine Guardians. Navy News. October 2020, pp.13.