Royal Air Force personnel from the UK's Project Seedcorn activity broke cover at Farnborough on 11 July, as prime minister David Cameron confirmed the signature of an order to buy nine Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
Seedcorn was born from the retirement of the British Aerospace Nimrod MR2 and cancellation of the replacement BAE Systems Nimrod MRA4 in 2010, and seeks to keep the UK military’s maritime patrol expertise intact.
According to one member of the current team there are 11 personnel serving the US Navy’s VP-30 ‘Pro’s Nest’ unit at NAS Jacksonville in Florida. This includes two pilots, four tactical coordinators, three electronic warfare officers and two acoustic operators. The RAF has had a presence on the unit since 2010.
The original Seedcorn agreement – made with allied forces in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and USA – initially ran for three years until July 2015, when it was renewed for a further three years.
By the time the current agreement ends, the first of the RAF's P-8As will be ready for delivery to their future home at its Lossiemouth base in April 2019.
Source: Flight Daily News