The runways at RAF Lossiemouth will be resurfaced following the award of a £75 million contract to VolkerFitzpatrick Ltd, say the MoD.

This work will prepare the base for the arrival of 9 P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft, the first of which is expected to arrive in the UK in 2020.

The MoD said in a release:

“Home to 4 fast-jet squadrons flying the Typhoon, it has been some time since RAF Lossiemouth has regularly operated a larger aircraft such as the P-8A Poseidon. Resurfacing works are one of many improvements being made, future-proofing the Moray base for years to come.”

According to the news release, other improvements include:

  • accommodation for personnel
  • a new Air Traffic Control Tower
  • upgrades to drainage and electrical supplies
  • upgraded facilities for IX (Bomber) Squadron, which moved to RAFLossiemouth this year

Russ Liddington, DIO’s Project Manager for the resurfacing works, said:

“It’s exciting to be part of the start of a new era for RAF Lossiemouth. The improvements to the runways will make them suitable for use by the new Maritime Patrol Aircraft, and continue to enable Typhoon operations which are essential to the UK’s Defence capabilities.

It represents a significant investment in Scotland and secures the future of RAF Lossiemouth status as a main Operating Base.”

Group Captain Simon Strasdin, Director of the Lossiemouth Development Programme, said:

“Resurfacing our airfield operating surfaces represents the next stage towards operating the fleet of P-8A Poseidon from RAF Lossiemouth, and I am glad to welcome VolkerFitzpatrick Ltd onto the team which will help to deliver it.

The Lossiemouth Development Programme is a complex series of projects which is set to transform RAF Lossiemouth into a modern, high-tech Station, equipped to face a range of evolving challenges. It represents an infrastructure investment of over £400m in Moray, the creation of around 550 additional military posts, and employment opportunities for many local contractors.”

Group Captain Jim Walls, Station Commander RAF Lossiemouth, said:

“Already delivering on operations in the UK and around the world, RAF Lossiemouth is only to get busier in the coming months and years. At this very moment, live-armed Typhoons are on standby as part of our Quick Reaction Alert commitment, ready to scramble against airborne threats the UK faces.

The P-8A Poseidon aircraft and its crews will also be operating 24/7 to safeguard our seas. Poseidon is world-class in its roles of maritime surveillance and submarine hunting, and crews from our NATO allies including the United States and Norway will operate the platform from Moray, strengthening the collective security of the Alliance.”

Richard Offord, Managing Director of VolkerFitzpatrick, said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded this key contract at RAF Lossiemouth, which will benefit from our significant in-house airfield and infrastructure capabilities. We look forward to collaborating with the DIO on these important works, over the coming months.”

It is anticipated that the resurfacing work will be completed by spring 2021.

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Cam
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Cam

Just one RAF base in Scotland is a joke! Granted RAF lossiemouth is getting bigger but Scotland’s 30,000 square miles and England’s 50,000 and England houses almost all RAF but all Navy and Army air bases. It’s almost 20 to 1 odds.

Gfor
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Gfor

And how many warships do you want based in Northern Ireland and Wales, and how many squadrons in each?

Cam
Guest
Cam

Glad you asked, how about just what’s needed. And Scotland has the most ocean by far in the UK so that means what? We also have by far the most airspace. And We have been disarming Northern Ireland for decades so we can’t go base a RAF base there again even though it is the RAF that protect all of Ireland. Did the British army gazelles leave NI?

Al
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Al

I think Scotland has had way more than their fair share. All subs will be based at Faslane, lossie is getting bigger. Just wait till the SNP get independence and everything goes back to the Union

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

5 Reg AAC is disbanding and the Fixed Wing assets transferring to the RAF. So I presume the Gazelle squadron is already gone.

Trevor
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Trevor

How many hundreds of billions of pounds do you want for the defence budget?

The level of absurdities that come from some quarters on this blog are stratospheric… astronomical.

Here are 2 points bringing to back to reality. Norway are an ally and have 5 P8s who assist us (and we them!). And the P8s themselves cost us about $1.25 billion. Are you suggesting we spend another half a billion just laying tarmac?

Cam
Guest
Cam

What you on about! Air bases cost tens of millions to run not billions!. And what did I say that was so absurd? Scotland having only 1 air base is absurd and many politicians agree with me. The recent closure of two thirds of Scotland’s RAF bases leaves Lossiemouth alone! All the recent cuts of air bases, army bases, RAF, army , Navy personnel, helicopters, fast jets, RFA ships, warships and everything in between is putting Britain in an increasingly weaker spot that we shouldn’t be in! We are losing far too much of our capability’s. Wouldn’t you agree. Oh… Read more »

Trevor
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Trevor

Resurfacing 1 runway is 75 million. Even to say open 10 runways at 100 million (understatement) is 1 billion.

Julian1
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Julian1

I always feel there is a case to reopen RAF st mawgan – I know it didn’t actually quite close. Newquay airport is a joke it’s dead and the RAF should take it back fully. We should have p-8s outstationed there for the Irish Sea, western approaches and the channel. Increasing activity by Russia and greater ambition by the Chinese navy will mean that all assets and focus shouldn’t be based from Scotland. If the Chinese were to sail a carrier in the North Atlantic, it could be prudent to have QRA there too

Steve R
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Steve R

I couldn’t say there they should be but I think we should have more airbases; I know it costs more to operate more bases but if we come under attack in future we’d do well to have our forces more dispersed so we dont find all our assets taken out in one base attack.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

QRA facilities are available at Boscombe Down for the South West, and I think Yeovilton too. The idea was to locate detachments there if a threat is identified, rather than 24/7.

As for St Mawgan I agree.

Cam
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Cam

There’s also QRA capability’s at old RAF luechars mate.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Yes mate. I was referring to Julians comments on the South West.

Cam
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Cam

Unfortunately We don’t even have enough P8s, so our parliament thinks and I agree. Did you know I quote from the bbc “ Thirty-eight RAF bases/stations in the UK have closed in the past 20 years as part the Ministry of Defence’s “constant review of defence needs”. I can’t believe it’s that many when we only have 7 front line RAF bases today. I know we had hundreds of RAF bases 50 odd years ago though.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

38? Hmmm. Many will be non flying stations.

Paul Benton
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Paul Benton

Hi with respect Cam you miss the. Point all of the RAF assets throughout the United Kingdom are mutually integrated to protect us all no matter were we live. Each is complimentary to the other, maybe your point is about employment not Defence of our nation. I do know as I worked in Raf counter intelligence for 23 years we are so lucky to have the professional Royal Air Force and the dedication and commitment of our servicemen and woman that we have. It is over 26 years since I retired from The RAF but I know that one modern… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Cam, there’s no point in having RNAS for our limited Merlin and Wildcat forces in Scotland. They are logically based close to Devonport Portsmouth where their ships are based. Same with the AAC, why have a base in Scotland when the AAC should be in the South close to Salisbury Plain and Stanford training areas where again the deployable brigades are. Scotland has Faslane, several army bases, the RM at Arbroath, training areas, and several radar, testing, and communications installations. It is not short of bases. Agree though there should be more than just Lossimouth. And if Scotland leaves the… Read more »

Cam
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Cam

I agree Dannielle, scotland doesnt need it’s old RN air bases back, my point was mainly about RAF air bases and Scotland only having one seems mad, but looks like Trevor above thinks I’m mad.

Baz
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Baz

Takes the the piss never cost that amount to resurface the runway is there no Gypsies around the corner who could do it cheaper?

Russjm
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Russjm

There are two things that are news about this: 1, VFP has a poor reputation for quality and delivery.
2, surely even thought the .gov.uk gas signed up to a poor agreement for this frame and even worse for future proofing – surely there cannot only be one base ?

Andrew
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Andrew

The sad thing for me is the acknowledgment that we require American and Norwegian planes to assist us in protecting our area of responsibility….

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

RAF Leuchars was closed and handed to the Army. The infrastructure, HAS, runway all available I believe. RAF Kinloss was closed and handed to the Army. Again the infrastructure is intact should they wish to reverse this decision.

There are actually many MoD sites in Scotland. But not air bases if that’s all Cam meant.

Fentiger
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Fentiger

P8/120Sqn will operate out of Kinloss initially until Runway refurb complete.

Baldrick
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Baldrick

BTW, the photo is NOT taken at Lossiemouth

Dave B
Guest
Dave B

Are the aircraft from Lossiemouth going to bolthole to Leuchars / Kinloss while this work is done, or will Lossiemouth runway be done in sections?

Cam
Guest
Cam

Yeah mate i was only on about air bases, dont you think one is mad for scotland, granted kinloss runways is being kept active as a diversion airfield. But maybe with the loss of so many RAF planes I shouldn’t be surprised we are closing so many UK bases, more to get closed in England soon!. Off topic but what do you think will replace the army’s dozens of Gazelle choppers and the RAF pumas? We don’t need expensive wildcats for the Gazelles jobs, and the gazelles are used daily across the UK I’m told. And do we need expensive… Read more »

woodpecker
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woodpecker

probably nothing , going on past decisions, from all colors of past goverments

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Gazelle is not deployed so I’d expect some sort of COMO type.

It was used in NI, is used in BATUS, and reportedly a pair with UKSF, but of course no info on that. I’ve never seen a verified photo of one of those.

Puma will probably go without any replacement.

I would have had the P8s at Kinloss, and kept the air defence role at Leuchars.

Lack of money. As usual.

Sadly closing bases also reduces the military footprint and thus their exposure, which may affect recruitment.

Alan
Guest
Alan

I think you should start a competition to try and identify where the Voyager in the photograph actually is because it sure isn’t RAF Lossiemouth. Another case of lazy journalism.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Cam
Do you think “Scotland” has been hard done by, and it should have more bases, to inject more money into the local economy, or do you think it is about the “tactical” location !
If the latter, then have a look at Lincolnshire, which as a percentage, has probably lost more than most.