Nimrod MRA4 First Flight

On 26 August 2004, PA1, the first of three Nimrod MRA4 development aircraft took off from BAE SYSTEMS Woodford site on the historic first flight of Nimrod MRA4, landing some 2 hours later at BAE SYSTEMS Warton following a successful maiden test flight. See the accompanying photographs.

Min(DP), who was at Warton at the time, made the following statement after the aircraft had landed:

"I was delighted to have been present for the first flight of Nimrod MRA4. It represents a significant milestone in a programme which has presented a number of challenges for BAE Systems and its supply chain. I now look forward to a successful series of flight trials towards proving a mature production design which meets MODís requirements and to the agreement of satisfactory prices for production."

The successful completion of the first flight is a significant milestone in the Nimrod MRA4 programme.

This is a major achievement for British industry and for the BAE SYSTEMS workforce and for its Supply Chain. It is the culmination of many years of effort.

It is, however, just one step on the way to the completion of the design and development phase of the Nimrod MRA4 programme. Work must continue on the test and evaluation programme. We look forward to the first flight of the second aircraft (PA2) later this year and the third aircraft (PA3) next summer. These aircraft will be used for mission system proving and weapon handling trials.

Nimrod MRA4 aircraft will offer greater capability, availability and endurance when compared to the Nimrod MR2 fleet, and our maritime surveillance requirements could be met with a fleet of around 12 Nimrod MRA4 aircraft.

Any commitment to full production will be dependent on acceptable design maturity and the agreement of an acceptable price.


Nimrod MRA4 Take off


Nimrod MRA4 In flight


Nimrod MRA4 Landing

Last Updated: 20 Sep 05