CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE – NIMROD AND MARITIME AERIAL SURVEILLANCE [47165] – 13 May 2020

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason the UK has lacked its own maritime surveillance capability since the retirement of the RAF Nimrod fleet; what have been the primary disadvantages of lack of UK maritime patrol aircraft; when that capability will be restored; and for what reason it has been deemed necessary to restore it.  [47165]

[Due for Answer on 20 May.]  

ANSWER

The Minister of State for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin): In the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the Government confirmed that it would close the Maritime Patrol Aircraft capability gap with the procurement of nine Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The UK's first aircraft was delivered to the Royal Air Force in October 2019 and we declared an initial operating capability on 1 April 2020.