An RAF Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft has released a torpedo for the first time, Royal Air Force and Navy announced.
A Poseidon (P-8A) aircraft from 120 Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, dropped a recoverable exercise variant of the Mark 54 Lightweight Torpedo over the Moray Firth, simulating an attack on a submarine.
At just under 3m long and 32cm in diameter, the Mk 54 torpedo is small and light enough that five can be carried in the Poseidon’s internal weapons bay. The high-explosive warheads on the live torpedoes pack a devastating punch sufficient to destroy enemy submarines that the Poseidon crew can locate and track using state-of-the-art equipment.
The successful release of a torpedo is the latest milestone in the rapid development of the Poseidon in RAF service.
“It’s been a great privilege to witness the hard work of so many talented individuals across the Royal Air Force, civil service and industry partners come together to enable us to launch and recover this torpedo. This exercise has proved everything is in place for our weapon technicians to rapidly get these torpedoes onto our aircraft, so we can deliver them wherever and whenever they are needed,” said Squadron Leader Higgins, Torpedo Project lead.
Five Poseidon MRA1s are based at RAF Lossiemouth with a further four sets to be delivered by the end of this year. The station, which is situated in close proximity to one of the aircraft’s most frequent areas of operations, is benefiting from a multi-million-pound investment programme bringing significant economic benefits to the Highlands & Islands and Morayshire communities.
Check out Naval Library App to find out more about the specifications of the P-8A Poseidon MPAs.