RAF P-8 POSEIDON aircraft are being deployed in support of UK Border Force operations in the English Channel as the government seeks to tackle the issue of small boats crossing the Channel in illegal immigration operations, the UK MoD has announced.
Part of a package of assistance the MoD is offering to the Home Office, the Ministry is also offering use of the SHADOW R1 aircraft to support operations over the coming weeks. The aircraft will track vessels and pass information to the Border Force, who will then take any appropriate further action.
The P-8 POSEIDON is a multi-role maritime patrol aircraft that delivers a highly-sophisticated search and tracking capability. The SHADOW R1 is an intelligence-gathering aircraft equipped with EO/IR sensors.
“The [P-8] has significant range and endurance, as well as the ability to support command and control and search and rescue operations, should the Border Force or UK Coastguard require it,” commented the Station Commander of RAF Lossiemouth, Gp Capt Chris Layden.
The POSEIDON fleet offers a potent blend of tracking options and associated weapons able to find surface and sub-surface vessels, once more allowing the RAF to complete effective joint maritime operations with the Royal Navy. A clear example of this was the recent tracking of the Russian warship VASILY BYKOV in the North Sea, close to UK waters.