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.”