The first flight training simulator for new submarine-hunting jets has been delivered to RAF Lossiemouth.
A full-scale Poseidon cockpit replica was driven more than 200 miles from Prestwick Airport to the Moray site after being flown in from Orlando, Florida.
It will be one of two simulators installed in a £100 million facility at Lossiemouth which will also hold other training devices as well as three of the RAF’s nine Poseidon aircraft.
The first of the “game-changing” fleet was delivered to the RAF last October, with the operational flight trainer (OFT) equipment able to simulate complex training scenarios and reduce the cost of carrying out live, in-flight procedures.
Mark Corden, project manager for training in the Poseidon delivery team, said: “The OFT simulators provide training specifically for the pilots who will be flying the Poseidon aircraft.
“They also have the compatibility to link up with the mission simulators used by the rear crew, allowing them to train together.
“It’s an essential part of making sure the pilots are fully prepared to operate the new fleet of aircraft.”
The OFT was transported from Florida to Scotland by an Antonov AN-124 aircraft.
Mr Corden added: “The weight of the simulator is not such an issue. It’s the width and height, which make it too big to be transported by any RAF aircraft, such as a C-130J, A400M or C-17.
“The Antonov is one of only a few aircraft in the world large enough to transport it.”
The first of two new Poseidon MRA.1 Operational Flight Trainers has arrived at @RAFLossiemouth.
The simulator was flown by a chartered Antonov AN-124 cargo aircraft to Glasgow Prestwick Airport on Monday before being taken by road to the Moray station.https://t.co/29leJRqXY2 pic.twitter.com/iSuyJi2jn9
— Royal Air Force (@RoyalAirForce) August 18, 2020
The Poseidon jets will enhance the UK’s tracking of hostile maritime targets, working to protect the continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent.
After a joint investment with the Ministry of Defence, the base was designed and built by Boeing and is expected to have more than 200 employees focused on maintenance, training and support once fully operational.
Torbjorn Sjogren, Boeing’s vice president of international government and defence, said: “Boeing is committed to ensuring readiness for the RAF and enabling local capability to further optimise the UK defence sector.
“We look forward to our continued collaboration with the RAF and our local partners in Moray, and building the competency of mission crews to take full advantage of the P-8A fleet’s capability.”