The next stage of redevelopment at RAF Lossiemouth has started with a £20 million contract for facilities for the Station’s newest Typhoon Squadron, say the MoD.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has awarded a contract worth £20-million to Galliford Try for work which will house Number IX (Bomber) Squadron in facilities that are fit for purpose, enabling them to deliver in their role as a Typhoon Aggressor Squadron.

Their re-role from Tornado to Typhoon, and move from RAF Marham to RAF Lossiemouth, was announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015.

According to the news release:

“The work will start later this summer and is expected to take around two years. It will involve the refurbishment of an existing hangar and construction of new technical and storage facilities. It forms part of a wider redevelopment of RAF Lossiemouth which also includes a refurbished runway, facilities for the RAF’s fleet of Poseidon MRA Mk. 1 sub-hunters, new and improved accommodation, and much more. RAF Lossiemouth is now home to four Squadrons of Typhoons which hold the Quick Reaction Alert role, Securing the Skies of the United Kingdom every minute of every day.

Aircraft could be launched at a moment’s notice to intercept unidentified aircraft, or aircraft which may pose a threat. RAF Lossiemouth covers the north of the UK including Scotland, while RAF Coningsby covers the south. The Typhoon is an extremely versatile multi-role combat aircraft involved in operations around the world, including Lithuania where 6 Squadron from RAF Lossiemouth are deployed on NATO Baltic Air Policing.”

Once fully established in their new facilities, the RAF say that IX(B) Squadron will be the RAF’s dedicated fourth-generation Aggressors.

This involves simulating the tactics, threats, and procedures of our adversaries to create the best training environment for Royal Air Force pilots. While providing this essential training, the Squadron will also be involved in Quick Reaction Alert duties alongside 1(F) Squadron, II(AC) Squadron, and 6 Squadron.

Margaret Jesson, DIO’s Project Manager, said:

“It’s exciting to have reached this stage of the project and we are looking forward to continuing to work with our colleagues at RAF Lossiemouth and Galliford Try to provide some fantastic facilities for these Typhoon pilots and ground crew.”

Group Captain Chris Layden, Station Commander RAF Lossiemouth, said:

“This is great news for the Station, for Moray, and for the RAF. Defence’s sustained investment in RAF Lossiemouth continues to transform us into a next-generation fighter and maritime patrol base, ready to secure the UK’s skies and seas for many years to come.”

Keith Yarham, Defence Director at Galliford Try, said:

“We are delighted to be working once again with DIO to deliver much needed infrastructure for the RAF. Together with our previous experience at RAF Marham and RAF Valley we are building a strong track record in the air station sector, and look forward to providing the personnel at Lossiemouth with the high-quality facilities they depend on.”

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Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago

And then they discover asbestos………………….

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
3 months ago

Fantastic idea. More money that could be potentially wasted if Scotland decides it wants independence.

Cam
Cam
3 months ago

It’s decisions like this that help to keep scotland in the UK. Would you suggest no investment in scotland? That’ll win them over

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

I think Moray is pretty unionist anyway isn’t it? With the RAF bases.

We need an RAF base in Glasgow!

Cam
Cam
3 months ago

Yeah, was the last one Royal Navy prestwick? Let’s get a huge RAF base right in the middle of Glasgow lol. And most of my friends in Moray are still pissed that RAF kinloss was closed but we all voted to stay part of The UK anyway we are far stronger together.

Bill
Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Sturgeon doesn’t give a stuff don’t you realise that?!! Also if there was a vote tomorrow the ‘yes’ vote would go through. Westminster continues to pour money into Scotland with defence projects such as these. The value to the local and nation economy is huge and don’t forget Faslane which will be home to our whole (diminishing) sub fleet.

Steve R
Steve R
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Sturgeon doesn’t but how many thousands of Scots whose economic prosperity depends on British defence sector? Were Scotland to go independent and Faslane closed and relocated to England, that’s thousands of Scottish jobs moved south to England with them. Huge numbers of Scots finding themselves unemployed.

Cam
Cam
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

I’m pretty sure lots of the Scots would move also, there millions in England working.

Bill
Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Closer to 700,000 l think.

Cam
Cam
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Ok, maybe I’m thinking of scottish decent, as I think that number you mentioned is people born in Scotland in England. Either way that’s a huge percentage of Scots in England.

Cam
Cam
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill

It makes sense financially to base all our submarines at one base though. And it’s a dam great place to base them.

geoff
geoff
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Well said Cam. For many reasons the Union does and must work for all 4 nations. It is not just about money but 400 years of History, shared infrastructure,16 shared overseas territories, broadly similar language and culture,geography and the strength that is greater than any of the parts. Untangling all of this would be a costly and destructive exercise and would diminish us all.

Bill
Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  geoff

As a Unionist l want Scotland to stay obviously but if you think any of those reasons you state have any bearing on what the SNP are gunning for then dream on. They want the whole cake and will hold Faslane over our heads as their main bargaining chip. She will want all the vessels with Scottish names as well. We will keep ‘investing’ and Scottish mp’s will continue to vote on uniquely English scenarios in parliament to our chagrin. The Scots have unprecedented autonomy and devolved powers but the SNP want the whole shebang. They are not interested in… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill

You’re right, it won’t affect Sturgeon and the SNP. However, independence can only come if a referendum is granted and 51% of Scots vote for it. Last time it was a comfortable win for Remain, 55/45. How many Scots’ jobs depends on UK defence? A lot. If Faslane were to relocate to England there would be mass unemployment in the region. Let alone RAF bases in Scotland closing. Scottish air defence force couldn’t realistically operate more than a squadron or two of Hawks, if that. A lot of jobs would disappear south of the border, leaving a lot of people… Read more »

geoff
geoff
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Thanks Bill and Steve. It took I think, three Referendums to finally put Quebec Independence to sleep. I would hope that one more would do the same for Scotland. but as you say the SNP are unyielding and their hatred for the Union is unflinching.

Cam
Cam
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

There only 1 RAF base in scotland Steve, but it’s arguably one of their most important bases along with faslane for the RN, they are there for very good reasons that won’t change is scotland does decide to leave, I recon if they do Leave (I dont) then the UK will just pay a fee to lease the bases or something similar. Maybe even agree to keep non nuclear armed subs at faslane and we would base them in Eastern USA maybe Georgia, or maybe even a joint Anglo French Force sailing from Europe for joint patrols.

Cam
Cam
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

“We would base Nuclear armed” is what’s missing!! We need edit!

Cam
Cam
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill

The SNP want independence no matter what, and if we got independence On the last vote Scotland would be in a far worse spot according to SNP figures on oil tax revenues that were many billions of the Mark! And scotland couldn’t join the EU because of our deficit is above the requirements… crazy.

Cam
Cam
3 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Thanks Geoff, yeah I agree it would almost be impossible to detach scotland, it would definitely be so destructive it’s hard to see the point. What just so Nicola sturgeon can make a couple more decisions that the UK currently make as a whole for the good of all! Just defence alone if a huge mine field we would still need Lossiemouth to protect northern sector, and faslane would have to stay as there is no other current place. And sturgeon already has far more powers than she used to have, they even built the scottish parliament so we could… Read more »

geoff
geoff
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Thanks Cam! For someone like me Ulster Scots parents, family name from Dumfriesshire, born in London and brought up in Belfast and England, what else can I be other than British! 🙂

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Anyone seen an SNP reaction to this?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 months ago

I would rather our Typhoon sqn get the facilities they need, then worry about politics. it’s 20 million, not 20 billion.

Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago

Did I read this correctly, that IX squadron are re-roling to aggressor and QRA on Typhoon, from bomber on Tornado? Does that mean that their training and specialisation will change at all? It’d be a shame to lose a Strike-trained squadron. Or maybe I’m mis-understanding how the RAF works and trains its pilots?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

It’s just keeping a famous and long standing sqn in the order of battle. The Tornado has been retired, and 9 sqn has reformed with the Typhoon, most Typhoon squadrons are multi role, carrying out air defence and strike capability. 9 sqn is unique in being a air defence sqn, and a aggressor sqn, providing training to the other Typhoon sqns and F35. 👍

Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Ah, I’m glad, maybe I was just assuming the worst…!

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

One of the ‘tranche 1 ‘ typhoons?

Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago
Reply to  Jason Holmes

But tranche 1’s Dont have multi-role capabilities.
They are unsuitable for a bomber squadron!
Some tranche 1 Typhoon’s, look really knackered!

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
3 months ago

I’m glad to hear Lossie is being invested in, but that is going to be one busy base! A real pity the gem that is (was) RAF Kinloss, is now just a glorified storage site for the royal engineers, they spent a huge amount overhauling the base for MRA4, would have been ideal for Poseidon

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Jason Holmes

Do you know what works were undertaken? Have always been relieved it was kept by MoD, for use by 39 RE.

Had not considered that it was updated as part of the MRA4 programme.

An even bigger waste.