Facilities to house the Poseidon MRA Mk1 fleet have been handed over to Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), marking a major milestone in the Poseidon programme.

DE&S, the MoD procurement arm, say they will take control of the £100 million strategic facility at RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland.

An infographic showing facts about the Royal Air Force's Poseidon aircraft

According to a news release:

“Clocking in at over 33,000 square metres, 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 fleet of nine Poseidon aircraft. Designed and built by Boeing Defence UK (BDUK) and local construction partner Robertson, more than 300 employees worked on the building at Lossiemouth during the peak of the two-year project.”

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said:

“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.”

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, say the MoD.

Once operational in the autumn, the facility will take the total number of people working out of the coastal base in the north of Scotland to about 2,200.

All nine Poseidon aircraft, which are based on the Boeing 737 Next-Generation airliner, are expected to be in the UK by the end of 2021, you can read more on this at the source here.

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George
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George

Hi folks,
Great to see infrastructure projects getting off the ground and completed. It’s a shame we do not have a further 3/4 Poseidons. Nonetheless, it helps to place the UK a the cutting edge of such projects, it’s not just the airframes alone but also the ability to maintain them that’s key.
Cheers
George

Cam
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Cam

Yeah and I thin’ norweigan p8s will also visit regularly along with American and NATO planes, let’s hope it’s key area we will excel at.

BB85
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BB85

Will the US or Nato station any additional poseiden here?

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

Do these sites have active air defences in place or is it assumed that we’ll just deploy sky sabre if anything hots up?

Or am I asking sensitive quesitons?

Rfn_Weston
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Rfn_Weston

*Questions

Fen Tiger
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Fen Tiger

Its’ at Lossie, so its defended by half(ish) the UK Typhoon fleet plus …….. .

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Nope. No ground based SAM any more. There’s a radar site to the east, and as said the QRA North.

Rfn_weston
Guest
Rfn_weston

That’s always seemed a little nuts to me. I wouldn’t fancy relying on QRA against a Pre-emotive cruise missile strike!

Rfn_weston
Guest
Rfn_weston

As emotive a cruise missile strike would be… I meat preemptive!! 🙂 Sausage fingers at play – and beer goggles!!

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

😂

geoff
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geoff

Morning Daniele. Hows the weather in the Home Counties?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Morning geoff. Miserable! Fine rain and grey skies. And the garden needs it, so that is fine.

geoff
Guest
geoff

You meat preemptive? Sausage fingers? lots of Freudian stuff there Squire?! Btw one of my school mates in Durban was Dennis Weston born in Nairobi. We used to laugh when family/friends in the UK or North America used to say “oh, you live in South Africa. Do you know my friend John Smith who lives in Nairobi?”
🙂 Lions in our back gardens 🙂

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Agree. The Land Sceptre of 16RA will be battlefield assets too, not for home defence, unless there was a situation like the 2012 Olympics.

Would we accept less Typhoons for example, for that money to go on home defence SAM network?

I guess the MoD thibk the threats minimal so there’s little emphasis in it.

geoff
Guest
geoff

I remember the Bloodhounds from the sixties. Impressive looking weapons Daniele

T.S
Guest

We have a decommissioned bloodhound missile and launcher positioned next to a roundabout in the Weston helicopter museum. I get to see it everytime I go to do my weekly shopping. It’s a bit of a beast.

geoff
Guest
geoff

Indeed TS. Businesslike.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I’m old enough to remember them in the 80s geoff! Agree, they looked menacing. Whether they were any good I’ve no idea!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

As for Lossi and Rifleman’s first points, up at Leuchars and Lossimouth there were Rapier squadrons, not Bloodhound. They were arrayed along the east coast from Wattisham up to the Humber.
Even then, in the Cold War, Scotland had little SAM cover.

geoff
Guest
geoff

Hi Daniele. They were operated by several overseas Air forces and upgraded over the years so think they were up to task. Don’t think they ever fired in anger and were obviously not as portable as Rapier. Hope you and family are all well and safe

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Thank you geoff. We are.

George
Guest
George

Hi folks, whilst on the subject of the Bloodhound, if I recall there were one or two at the entrance of the old Woolwich Barack’s in south east London many years ago. Unless these were another type if that’s possible.
Cheers,
George

Rudeboy
Guest
Rudeboy

Believe they were the Thunderbird missile used by the Army, looked very similar to Bloodhound but different.

George
Guest
George

Cheers Rudeboy,
Yes of course, forgot about those. They did look impressive. Wonder if they are still there as Musium exhibit?
Thanks
George

Pacman27
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Pacman27

Whilst good news a couple of points jump out.

Why aren’t our few airfields defended properly, even if that is with a vehicle based missile system. Seems a poor decision all round really.

Secondly, why don’t we have hangers for all 9 aircraft as the weather is pretty rough up there and protecting these from the elements will extend their life.

For a basic hanger it can’t be that much additional cost surely, say 30m doesn’t need to be hardened or anything.

Would like to see us doing things properly for once, hopefully additional hangers are on there way.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Yes was pondering the same thing,on the subject of Airbase Defence id guess its the usual situation of Risk versus cost.With big investment going into Lossiemouth,Marham etc the creation of these ‘Super Bases’ there is a trend to put lots of very expensive Eggs into Too few Baskets,you would hope/expect in times of tension or War there would be a Plan and Assets available to add to the Bases Defences.On Hangar space if there is such a need are there any Hangars in say 2nd Tier Airbases such as Wittering and Leeming for example that could maybe house a P8… Read more »

Cam
Guest
Cam

Kinloss had a new hangar for a Nimrod in 2009, and there are others at kinloss right next to Lossiemouth. But it’s not practical to have a hangar for every aircraft it would cost loads and make things more complicated.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Morning Pac.

As mentioned above, they never were really, apart from Bloodhound which were not point defence airfield assets. We also “liberated” some AA guns from Argentina which I recall formed a squadron.

Would you accept less very expensive Typhoons to spend hundreds of millions on SAM instead?

I think with HMG/MoD in a expeditionary posture for all these years fixed home assets with little threat against them is seen as low priority.

Pacman27
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Pacman27

Hi Daniele Actually I would sacrifice some other equipment to ensure we have a strategic ballistic missile defence system, preferably a mobile one. Ultimately the MOD needs to sort itself out and prioritise, with Strike we will need to have an air defence solution that denies our enemies and I think we should follow Russia and china’s lead in doing more with less ( albeit China is now doing more with more) As an island we need to ensure we can defend ourselves first and foremost, so I think our armed forces should concentrate on doing that first and then… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

I’m actually on the same page Pac. Agree to both SAM coverage and BM defence too.

Pacman27
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Pacman27

I think the uk is at a tipping point now, we are clearly good at a lot of thing militarily and you could argue it gives us our seat at the table with the big boys. The question is how do we keep those capabilities at a high level and adapt to the new threats such as cyber and space. For me I think the time has come to reconsider the land force totally. Perhaps a larger airforce, navy and a 45k marine corps (5 combat divisions) that we can deploy as an expeditionary force is perhaps the way to… Read more »

Andy P
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Andy P

Pacman, I can see the ex pongos spitting out their ‘stand easy’ tea reading that. Bin the army…. I get your point and agree with the logic but it would take a huge shift to move away from having a (relatively) large land force.

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

Yup understand, but the reality is we don’t need a massive army and it just doesn’t make sense to reduce our elite forces or to even think about it, I would have one very large commando force and be done with it. I am happy to have an army and think it is good to have one, but if the choice is a ballistic Missile and AAD system or an army I will go for the former. Tough choices but I personally think the navy and a Marines should come first with air, space and cyber close behind. And I… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Again, I follow your logic, we’re an island with no plans (at least they’ve not run them past me if we have 😉 ) to invade anywhere so why have a (relatively) large army. As you know we’ve traditionally been keen to help our European allies stem the ‘commie hordes’ streaming into Germany, or at least that was the theory so now that we’ve taken a step back from that approach and we’ve done (at least for now) with the warm and sandy places it would be good to concentrate on sea power, what with the whole island ‘thingy’. Its… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I’m with Pac. I always advocate RN and RAF first. With SF, Intelligence community, ISTAR next in no particular order. We don’t need to be a land power. The army we have should be properly equipped mind. I don’t go as far as reducing the army any more or having 40K marines as Pac suggests, and I think the army as sized is fine, as long as it is resourced and organised correctly. But I do think as an island nation we need to be able to project air and sea power, and the army can do nothing without the… Read more »

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

ABM systems are only really effective when deployed relatively close to a adversary, so a ABM can be launched to intercept a missile in the ‘boost stage’.
E.g USN and Japan Navy, deploy ABM warships in Western Pacific close to the likely flight path of a missile.

With incoming Cruise missiles it is the same problem as sea skimmers!
I hope this info helps, Daniele?

julian1
Guest
julian1

I agree with you actually. It basically steps us out of major continental land based warfare as per BAOR and focusses us on marine, air mobile and expeditionary warfare for soldiering. Possibly no MBTs or heavy equipment – everything mobile by sea or air and quickly deployable. More Apache, more A400, a bigger navy and more navy choppers. Helluva decision though. 3 marine, 1 airmobile and 1 light division? It’s a real political statement and would send the shivers up the Europeans, I have no doubt

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

the thing here though Julian is that the Europeans should be working with us to do what is right for them. Germany in particular has taken NATO for a ride this last 20 years and I don’t see the need for the UK to have a heavy armour capability where the fight is over and done with before we have even generated.

Ask the boys on the ground and they would want more Apaches and hell’s rather than a niche capability.

Not saying tanks are bad – just that we have better things to spend our money on in my opinion

julian1
Guest
julian1

It’s turning our backs on 100s of years of continental, land fighting and as you say, putting the responsibility well on the shoulders of the central European countries. I agree with you we need to pick where to focus. if the Baltics were invaded, what would our (land) military response be?) Are we only saying we could fight fom air and sea but not from land? beyond Norway, where would we expect to use these amphibious and airmobile forces? are we expecting to get sucked into the SCS and far east or more heavily get involved in the Gulf? I… Read more »

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

Couldn’t agree more. Problem is we always want to be everything to everyone when we can no longer afford it

Our decision making is laboured and inefficient not just in mod but generally as exposed by Covid

We have equipment we don’t use and don’t intend to use. But feel we should have to say we are full spectrum. That is just none sense.

Let’s decide what we can do and do it better than anyone else. That’s my view

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

By the time, missiles launched and aimed at a UK airbase, they will be warheads in ‘terminal phase’.
You would need Rail guns to shoot them down !

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Thanks Meirion.

Moscow’s long serving ABM defences are certainly not encountering Minuteman missiles in boost either, but terminal.

Better than nothing I guess. We read here once of plans to put US interceptors in the UK, have not looked into what happened to the idea.

Are you in favour of such a system? Or against because of the geographical considerations?

Andy P
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Andy P

I guess this is the benefit of the MAD approach, especially in collaboration with CASD, you don’t need batteries of anti missile missiles if your attacker knows he’s going to be getting ‘incoming’ himself.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

I am against a ABM in the UK because of geographical situation.
It would need to be deployed much further East and North-east , in both the Baltic and Sweden.
We may need to wait until the future Daniele, for a solution in the form of ‘rail guns’ and high powered lasers!

Cam
Guest
Cam

Having hangars for every aircraft would be far more expensive and impractical and planes these days are used to flying in rough conditions and are built to withstand the worst of weather. Having hangars for maintenance ect is necessary though.

julian1
Guest
julian1

there’s 2 points here. As these aircraft evolve, expect to see them operating detached overseas. Perhaps one aircraft semi-permanent in the gulf region or akrotiri and possibly another in the far east. secondly, surely it makes sense to detach aircraft in the south west – perhaps st mawgan, culdrose (no room) or yeovilton. I know first and foremost they are to protect the SSBNs but they should also be there to protect QEC in and out of Portsmouth and Russian trips transiting from the med which seems to happen every other week now. So, will all 9 ever be at… Read more »

TwinTiger
Guest
TwinTiger

Should we expect that is it demountable?

Harold
Guest
Harold

Scotland will overwhelmingly vote for the SNP in 2021 and independence thereafter is only a matter of time. What will happen then?

Lordtemplar
Guest
Lordtemplar

Not sure Westminster in any mood for any more referndums for some years. In the hypothetical case Scotland left, i am sure there would be some mutual defence agreement since it’s in the interest of all parties 😉

Harold
Guest
Harold

Reading today, I see that the hope is that the SNP thrash any opposition in the Scottish elections of May 2021 and then it will be almost impossible for Westminster to decline any referendum. Even English people in Scotland have joined the campaign now I read. The current polls indicate 54% in favour of independence. All this money being spent in Scotland on airfields and submarine bases too.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Are You a Russian??

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

No, a bell end!

Harold
Guest
Harold

Says a man with little or no brain in either of his two heads.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Good effort, but could do better, 2 out of 10. You need to work not only on your military knowledge but also your comebacks……

Harold
Guest
Harold

Yes, of course I am. I work in the Kremlin. I thought you knew?

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Then the Jocks will keep us sweet, and want a percentage of various equipment types, for a Scottish military (that not one single Scottish military person I know would want to join) and then the Scottish would want to shelter under our membership of NATO and our AD assets. They would want to keep the pound, keep a special trading relationship and then want free movement….in other words not really become independent. But then again best we keep this to the military aspect, and not the political , as the military part is a subject you Harold are totaly clueless… Read more »

Harold
Guest
Harold

Always delighted to assist. So, today’s contributions. Worth while popping along and placing a bet on Scottish independence now. The odds are increasing dropping in favour of it. Secondly, who is going to pay for the additional £322 billion in the finaces of the UK now? Cut, cut, cut. Always pleased to amuse though.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

You certainly do, very rarely do you come across someone with so little subject matter knowledge, yet so excited to give it! Most amusing, little bit sad but amusing.

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

All eggs in one convenient basket to be taken outina pre-emptive strike. I hope we buy enough Land Ceptor SAMs to protect vital sites & airfields. Great to actually have MRAs again after the capability “holiday”-I’d call it treason rather than anything as inoffensive as a “holiday”.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Land Ceptor most likely be efficient against Cruise Missiles, given a few minutes warning. But Not against ICBMs.

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

So we’d have to rely on one of our 6 T45s being in the area & I doubt any more than 5 will be operational at the time. Aren’t we still waiting for ABM csapability to be developed for them?

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

A T45 would need to be positioned in the Baltic Sea to protect against a ballistic missile aimed at th UK from a Eastern country. In order to intercept the missile when it is still in the boost stage. By the time it reaches the North Sea it will be a warhead in Terminal stage of descent.

Yes the ABM capability is nearly ready for Aster 30 Block 1 NT, most likely in 2021 with France being the first to operate it.