Scotland

RAF Lossiemouth Upgrade: What Works Are Taking Place In Scotland?

Lossiemouth is home to Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon squadrons and the RAF's new Poseidon fleet.

Facilities at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland are being upgraded as part of investments costing more than £400 million altogether.

The Moray base is home to four Typhoon fighter jet squadrons, a new fleet of Poseidon Maritime Patrol aircraft, IX (Bomber) Squadron and an RAF regiment squadron.

More than 3,000 military and civilian personnel work at Lossiemouth, which is one of the RAF's two Quick Reaction Alert bases. 

Typhoon fighter jets have started returning to RAF Lossiemouth, with three P-8A Poseidon aircraft arriving at the Scottish base this week.

The P-8As had been flying out of Kinloss, a British Army barracks 12 miles along the coast, which was formerly a Royal Air Force base.

Here is what work is being done to upgrade the facilities at the Scottish site.

Runway resurfacing

Work to resurface two runways has been carried out as part of a £75 million upgrade, while the intersection between them has been stripped, strengthened and resurfaced.

The refurbishment began in late 2019, as part of a contract awarded to VolkerFitzpatrick Ltd by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

The new hangar for the P-8A fleet at RAF Lossiemouth (Picture: RAF).

Home for Poseidon

Work has been carried out to accommodate the Royal Air Force's new fleet of P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol aircraft.

P-8As will be equipped with sensors and weapons systems designed for anti-submarine warfare, and will also carry out surveillance and search and rescue missions, according to the RAF.

A £100 million "state-of-the-art" facility for the P-8As at RAF Lossiemouth was handed over to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in July.

It took two years to build and can hold up to three of the Royal Air Force's eventual nine P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

It is more than 33,000 square metres in size and has training and mission support facilities, including advanced simulators, as well as accommodation for two squadrons.

By the end of 2021, the RAF is expected to have nine P-8As which will cost £3 billion in total.

Watch: The moment the first of the RAF’s new Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft arrived at Kinloss Barracks in Scotland.

Housing for Typhoons

Typhoon fighter jet facilities are being improved, with £20 million of investment.

It includes the refurbishment of a hangar and construction of new technical and storage facilities. 

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) awarded the contract for the work to Galliford Try.

Four squadrons of Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon jets are based at RAF Lossiemouth.

They cover the skies over the north of the United Kingdom, while their counterparts at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, cover the south of the country.

They have, however, moved temporarily to Leuchars Station, formerly RAF Leuchars, in Fife as the resurfacing work continues at Lossiemouth.

Essential Typhoon training was also temporarily moved to Kinloss Barracks in Moray.

The first flight training simulator for the RAF's new submarine-hunting jets is delivered to RAF Lossiemouth (Picture: MOD).

Moray Aerospace campus

In August, the UK Government minister for Scotland announced that an aerospace centre of excellence is set to be established next to RAF Lossiemouth as part of the Moray Growth Deal.

The Moray Aerospace, Advanced Technology and Innovation Campus will work with the RAF and private partners to support the new Poseidon fleet.

Ian Stewart, UK Government minister for Scotland, said he was "delighted to confirm" the investment, with £21 million of Government money and a further £12.3 million coming from local partners.

Revamp work at RAF Lossiemouth
Refurbishment work at RAF Lossiemouth taking place earlier this year.

Other improvements

The revamp at RAF Lossiemouth also includes improved accommodation for personnel, a new Air Traffic Control tower, upgrades to drainage and electrical supplies, and upgraded facilities for IX (Bomber) Squadron, which moved to RAF Lossiemouth this year.

Cover image: RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft taxi at RAF Lossiemouth.