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£100 million facility for new Poseidons at RAF Lossiemouth handed over to Ministry of Defence for final preparations

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston

A new £100 million strategic facility that will hold a fleet of new Poseidons at RAF Lossiemouth has been handed over to the Ministry of Defence for final preparations.

Defence Equipment and Support, the MOD’s procurement arm, has taken control of the facility.

The facility includes a three-bay hangar and accommodation for two squadrons, as well as state-of-the-art training equipment and facilities for those working on the aircraft.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said the facility designed and built by Boeing Defence UK and construction partner Robertson is “ideal” for the fleet of nine Poseidon aircraft.

Mr Quin added: “The new Poseidon fleet will reassert the UK in the maritime patrol arena.

“It will play an invaluable role in our national security for decades to come.

“The state-of-the-art Lossiemouth facility provides the fleet with an ideal base while helping to create and sustain jobs in Scotland.”

Michelle Sanders, P-8A Poseidon team leader, added:“The new strategic facility at RAF Lossiemouth is a great example of successful delivery through co-operative working.
“The focus of our work now shifts to preparing it for handover to the RAF later this year.”

In February the first RAF Poseidon named Pride of Moray arrived from the USA and touched down at Kinloss Airfield followed by the second named City of Elgin in March. Both aircraft are currently flying from Kinloss until the facility and runway open.

Terence Bulloch, the third aircraft in the fleet, is named after the highest-scoring pilot in Coastal Command during the Second World War.

Anna Keeling, managing director of Boeing Defence UK, hailed the support of the Moray community in being able to deliver this project.

She said: “We are incredibly proud to be handing over this state-of-the-art facility to DE&S after two years of hard work and investment, and we are excited to begin a new phase of Boeing’s partnership at RAF Lossiemouth.
“It’s a further sign of our more than 80-year commitment to the UK and we could not have done it without the support of the local Morayshire community, both on and off base.”

In the coming months, DE&S will oversee the installation of computers, audio-visual technology and the IT network to ensure the facility meets the RAF’s requirements.

Simulators and training devices for the Poseidon air and ground crews will be delivered and their installation will begin, while a separate ground support equipment hangar will also be built by Robertson.

All Poseidon aircraft, which are based on the Boeing 737 Next-Generation airliner, are expected to arrive in the UK by the end of 2021.

Once operational in autumn, the facility will have 470 additional military and civilian personnel, taking the total number of people working on the base to about 2,200.

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