Queen’s Jubilee flypast to see version of RAF plane that helped sink Moskva

A Poseidon MRA1 aircraft, operated by US soldiers, is believed to have been used to help the Ukraine military identify the location of the warship before it sent two Ukrainian Neptune missiles to destroy the vessel. 

During a rehearsal for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee airshow on Tuesday, senior officers revealed that the RAF would showcase one of its own similar Poseidon planes at the event. 

Squadron Leader Jon Greenhowe, who is organising the event, told The Times: “The new Poseidon now defends the skies and the seas on behalf of UK defence.

“It’s a very capable aircraft, a multi-mission aircraft [with] a great deal of sensors and skilled operators.

“We are very proud to say that is the first time you will have seen that participating in one of the flypasts.”

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The six-minute display is expected to take place on the first day of the celebrations over the Mall and Buckingham Palace. 

If the weather is suitable, the display will include around 70 aircraft in the biggest flypast since the RAF 100 display in 2018 to celebrate the 100th year of the RAF. 

The first of the nine Poseidon P-8 maritime patrol aircrafts is believed to have arrived at the RAF Kinloss Barracks in Scotland in 2020. 

The fleet has increased over the last 18 months but has yet to have showcased due to the pandemic.

Poseidon’s are surveillance planes and are equipped with radar and sensor systems that make it possible to identify and monitor hostile targets above and below.

It can carry as many as 129 sonobuoys, which are devices that can detect and identify objects moving in the water.

It can also attack targets with Mk54 torpedoes and Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

The US army is believed to have used a similar plane to help the Ukrainians identify the whereabouts of the Russian Moskva warship, which was sunk on April 14.

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Earlier this month, a US defence source revealed that Ukraine’s forces had reached out and passed on co-ordinates of the ship before the attack, saying: “They reached out to the US to confirm that it was the Moskva and we confirmed it.”

Mr Greenhowe said the flypast on Thursday for the Queen’s jubilee will give Britain the chance to “show off” the operational capabilities of the aircraft. 

When asked what Britain’s enemies might think of the display, Air Commodore Mike Baulkwill, who is overseeing the preparations, said: “It contributes to the view that we can operate safely and accurately and show them that we have the mass and capability to do that wherever it is in the globe.”

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