Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson cut the first turf on a £132m facility for the UK’s new fleet of submarine hunting P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland today.
The site will be the future home to the country’s nine-strong, new P-8A Poseidon MPA fleet. The aircraft’s key role will be to protect the UK’s submarine-deployed nuclear deterrent and its two new aircraft carriers, whilst it can also deploy missiles capable of destroying enemy submarines beneath the sea.
The new Lossiemouth facility will be completed in 2020, to coincide with initial operating capability of the P-8 Poseidon aircraft. Built by Elgin-based Robertson Northern, it will comprise a tactical operations centre, an operational conversion unit, squadron accommodation, training and simulation facilities and a three-bay aircraft hangar.
The MoD say it is investing £3 billion over the next decade in its Maritime Patrol Aircraft capability, and last year confirmed £3.7bn to start building the first three of eight Royal Navy Type 26 frigates on the Clyde as it continues to boost its capabilities.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“These submarine hunters will play a vital role in keeping the UK safe from the increasing threats and aggression we face in the skies, on the sea and below the waves.
This massive investment demonstrates the huge contribution Scotland makes to protecting Britain and how defence generates prosperity and opportunity.
Moray is benefitting from 200 local construction jobs during this building phase, with the number of personnel employed at RAF Lossiemouth growing by 470 to 2,200 people when this is complete.”