The Royal Air Force (RAF)’s newest Boeing Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft has participated in a multi-national training exercise for the first time since arriving in the United Kingdom in February.N ATO exercise Dynamic Mongoose has seen personnel from CXX Squadron join ships, submarines and aircraft from six nations to hone anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare skills with the new Poseidon MRA1 aircraft in the challenging North Atlantic. Locating and tracking a submarine requires close coordination between ships and aircraft, and Dynamic Mongoose focussed on nuclear-powered submarines in a 200-by-200 square nautical mile box of open ocean.
Vice Admiral Keith Blount, Commander of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command said: “Exercises today seize opportunities for NATO and Allied nations to sharpen war-fighting skills by focussing on high-end capabilities. Dynamic Mongoose will ensure we remain prepared for operations in peace, crisis and conflict.”
Officer Commanding 120 Squadron, Wing Commander James Hanson said: “Participation in Dynamic Mongoose offers the trained crews of CXX Squadron a chance to hone their skills cooperating with ships, submarines and aircraft from a number of NATO partner nations, as well as the Royal Navy. The exercise offers my crews a great opportunity to be tested against highly professional opposition in the exercise environment, and I know that the crews have relished the chance to show what they can do with our extremely capable aircraft.
On one sortie, using the sophisticated sensor suite fitted to the aircraft, an RAF Poseidon launched simulated attacks within 10 mins of taking over contact from a US Navy Poseidon. This sortie also offered the CXX Squadron crew the opportunity to practise communications, command and control with NATO allies and directed simulated attacks on a submarine by naval vessels. This exercise participation, at such a complex and challenging level, is the more remarkable considering that the RAF only took delivery of their first Poseidon MRA1 into Kinloss Airfield in early February. Two Poseidon aircraft will operate out of Kinloss whilst runway works are undertaken at RAF Lossiemouth, scheduled for completion later this year.
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is a military aircraft developed and produced by Boeing, modified from the 737-800ERX. The P-8 is being operated in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction roles. It is armed with torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys, as well as operate in conjunction with other assets, including unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The P-8 is operated by the United States Navy, the Indian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) andRoyal Air Force (RAF). It has also been ordered by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF), the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), and the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN).