After nearly four years since the retirement of the Nimrod MR.2 maritime patrol aircraft and the cancellation of the advanced Nimrod MRA.4 the RAF may finally get back its fixed wing anti-submarine and maritime patrol role. According to the Daily Express newspaper plans are currently on the table for a £2bn investment in up to twelve new aircraft most likely the American Boeing P-8 Poseidon which will be delivered over the coming years.
The newspaper adds that the increased presence of Russian submarines around UK waters was one of the driving forces behind the decision to finally acquire a Nimrod replacement. The lack of a long range maritime patrol aircraft led to the embarrassing situation of Britain having to ask its NATO allies for help in locating a Russian submarine around Scottish waters last year. The need for a replacement has led to wild speculation and rumours including a report claiming that the Japanese offered the RAF their Kawasaki P-1.
The MoD has stated that a review of submarine detection capabilities will be reviewed later this year.