U.S. and UK defense representatives signed an agreement on closer P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft cooperation on January 25.
The declaration, signed between UK’s Minister for Defense Procurement Harriett Baldwin and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, will see the two countries sharing logistics and support bases, particularly in Europe.
This optimized use of P-8A aircraft is aimed at increasing value for money and improving operational effectiveness.
In 2019 the U.K. will receive delivery of its first Poseidon P-8A aircraft and both nations have committed to deepen their defense cooperation when operating in the North Atlantic region.
“The United States is our pre-eminent ally in global defense and collective security. This declaration is further evidence of how our two countries continue to cooperate and build mutual security, particularly in the North Atlantic region,” Harriett Baldwin said.
Delivering on the commitment of the 2015 Strategic Defense and Security Review, the U.K. is purchasing nine Boeing P-8A Poseidon MPAs to be based in RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland. The aircraft will add to the U.K.’s surveillance capabilities, including conducting anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, search and rescue and intelligence gathering.
Air Commodore Ian Gale, senior responsible owner for the Poseidon P-8A program, said: “This agreement will enhance the U.K.’s maritime patrol capability and further strengthen U.K.-U.S. defense relations. The arrival of the Poseidon P-8A in 2019 will provide the U.K. with significantly increased capabilities and bring hi-tech employment to Scotland and the wider U.K.”