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Poseidon adventure for HMS Glasgow’s crew to discuss future sub hunting

Poseidon adventure for HMS Glasgow’s crew to discuss future sub hunting
Sailors from Britain’s next-generation sub hunter clambered aboard one of the RAF’s maritime patrol aircraft they’ll be working alongside in a few years.

The P8 Poseidon is a key element of the air-sea-underwater protective shield thrown around the UK by the Armed Forces to monitor the actions of potentially hostile submarines and surface ships.

At the end of this decade it will be operating hand-in-hand with the RN’s new Type 26 frigates, led by HMS Glasgow.

The ship has enjoyed an affiliation with CXX Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, since the first sailors joined the frigate in the autumn of 2021.

Proven technology – Poseidon is a military version of Boeing’s 737-800 airliner in service with several other nations including the USA, India and Australia – the fuselage its packed with sensors, systems and kit, including torpedoes (in time of war), Sonobuoy listening devices (dropped in the ocean in the path of a suspected submarine to help locate and track it) and high-resolution area mapping to pinpoint contacts of interest on and below the waves.

Since entering RAF service in 2020, Poseidon has been building up its capabilities working with Royal Navy assets in home waters and beyond – even extending to the Gulf of Finland where one of the long-range patrol aircraft scouted for HMS Mersey earlier this year.

The airmen have been to see the frigate – currently fitting out at BAE’s yard in Scotstoun on the north bank of the Clyde.

And now four of the warship’s crew, led by Senior Naval Officer Commander Philip Burgess, made the reciprocal trip up to the Moray Firth, allowing RAF aircrew and Royal Navy engineers to build the vital organisational relationship.

A full day of activity was planned around showcasing how the RAF operate their new Maritime Patrol Aircraft. Starting with a Capability Brief, the four members of HMS Glasgow’s crew also toured the advanced simulation facilities and operating centre, concluding in a detailed demonstration of the aircraft’s systems.

“It was great to have the crew from HMS Glasgow up to visit us at RAF Lossiemouth,” said 26-year-old Flight Lieutenant Reid.
“They got to see the Poseidon aircraft up close, and that really helped visualise how we’ll work together in the future.”

Lieutenant William Hill, Glasgow’s deputy weapon engineer officer, said both his ship and the RAF squadron had a lot in common – and not merely the act of safeguarding the seas.

“We bonded over the challenges of integrating a new military asset into service ­ both CXX Squadron and HMS Glasgow share interesting parallels, starting units from humble origins as small teams,” he explained.

“Although both organisations are capable of carrying out an array of maritime tasks, they share a primary purpose: to hunt and deny hostile submarine activity.”
CXX Squadron has now achieved its Initial Capability Milestone, well on the way to building the full contingent of crews.
HMS Glasgow will join them when the ship enters operational service later this decade.

Once back in the ship’s namesake city, the sailors welcomed members of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society aboard.
The society is a faith-based organisation working to meet the needs of the Scottish Shia Muslim community and the breadth of society in general across the cultural, social, political, and religious spectra.

The guests received briefings from BAE and crew on the Type 26 programme before being treated to a guided tour of the 8,000-tonne warship.

Among the hosts was Chief Petty Officer James Oakley, one of the ship’s senior logisticians, who  said: “The Royal Navy champions diversity and inclusion, and the opportunity to engage with these community leaders will provide greater understanding across some of Scotland’s ethnic minority communities of the shipbuilding opportunities available here in Glasgow, and the career opportunities within the Royal Navy, especially those opportunities afforded by the ships being built here on the Clyde.” 

HMS Glasgow has been in the water since last autumn, with work on the first of eight Type 26 frigates focusing on her infrastructure to allow the testing and commissioning of her marine and combat systems prior to sea trials later in the programme.

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