RAF Nimrod MRA4 PA04 — Guardian Angel Salutes Battle of Britain

Warton, UK – Britain’s newest guardian of the skies took to the air this month in a salute to those who served in the Bat­tle of Britain, includ­ing a poignant vis­it to the RAF base which for years was its predecessor’s nat­ur­al home.

Nimrod MRA4 on a routine test flight
Nim­rod MRA4 on a rou­tine test flight
Source: BAE Systems

RAF Nim­rod MRA4 PA04, the first pro­duc­tion air­craft to be accept­ed by the RAF, cap­tained by BAE Sys­tems Nim­rod MRA4 Chief Test Pilot Bill Ovel, took off from the company’s Lan­cashire test air­field at Warton, Lan­cashire, on Sep­tem­ber 9th before fly­ing the length of the UK vis­it­ing air­shows – as well as per­form­ing a flight tri­al at a key test range — all in a sin­gle mission.

The 1600 mile flight took in Guernsey’s Bat­tle of Britain Air Dis­play, Jersey’s Inter­na­tion­al Air Show, and flight tri­als at the Aber­porth Bay test range in Mid-Wales, before con­duct­ing a fly­past at RAF Kin­loss which, for 40 years, has been the base for the UK’s fleet of Nim­rod mar­itime recon­nais­sance and sur­veil­lance aircraft.

The new MRA4 can use its radar to scan an area the size of the UK in 10 sec­onds, detect sub­merged sub­marines and con­duct long range Search and Res­cue missions.

Bill Ovel said of the flight: “The oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ties of the MRA4 are incred­i­bly impres­sive and even though I’ve been test fly­ing the air­craft for sev­er­al years, I still get a ter­rif­ic buzz from the expe­ri­ence. On this flight the air­craft once again per­formed impec­ca­bly. Pre­sent­ing her to the per­son­nel of RAF Kin­loss dur­ing the fly­past was huge­ly sat­is­fy­ing for the crew and I know that it was a rous­ing expe­ri­ence for those watch­ing from the ground.”

He added: “Giv­en that this month marks the 70th anniver­sary of the Bat­tle of Britain – a bat­tle where radar played a cru­cial role in secur­ing vic­to­ry– it was a great priv­i­lege for us to be able to salute the mem­o­ry of those who gave their lives for oth­ers and those who defend­ed our shores with such tenac­i­ty and bravery.” 

About BAE Sys­tems

BAE Sys­tems is a glob­al defence, secu­ri­ty and aero­space com­pa­ny with approx­i­mate­ly 107,000 employ­ees world­wide. The Com­pa­ny deliv­ers a full range of prod­ucts and ser­vices for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced elec­tron­ics, secu­ri­ty, infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy solu­tions and cus­tomer sup­port ser­vices. In 2009 BAE Sys­tems report­ed sales of £22.4 bil­lion (US$ 36.2 billion). 

For more infor­ma­tion, please contact 

Les­ley Dob­son, BAE Sys­tems
Tel: +44- (0)1772 852052 Mob: +44 (0)7801 717289

Andy Bunce, BAE Sys­tems
Tel: +44 (0) 1772 852070 Mob: +44 (0) 7801 716448

Issued by: 

BAE Sys­tems, Farn­bor­ough, Hamp­shire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
24hr media hot­line: + 44 (0) 7801 717739

BAE Systems 

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