In another insideMoray exclusive, seen in our picture departing RAF Lossiemouth yesterday morning (Thursday) is the first Typhoon FGR4 at the Moray base.
The aircraft is the first sighted of the ‘next incarnation’ of No.II(AC) Squadron – misty RAF history dictating the use of Roman numerals for ‘2’, while and ‘AC’ standing for ‘Army Co-operation’, the squadron’s first role when it formed before World War One.
Local aviation photographer Niall Paterson caught the jet as it tried to sneak out unnoticed, on its way to form a backdrop for the official ‘stand up’ ceremony to be held today at RAF Marham in Norfolk.
Niall had previously seen the aircraft before Christmas carrying the personal markings for the new ‘boss’ of the squadron, Wing Commander R G Elliott. It was being towed from the paint shop on base – however, the squadron’s markings were covered by brown paper to prevent any premature unveiling!
As reported by insideMoray last month, the third and final Typhoon unit to form at Lossiemouth (and, indeed, the last for the RAF) is taking over the identity used – until today – by a Tornado GR4/GR4A bomber and reconnaissance squadron based at Marham.
Because of ongoing operational commitments in the Middle East, those Tornados are not retiring as originally planned but will instead take on the identity of No.XII(Bomber) Squadron (which was also based at RAF Lossiemouth until March last year), thus allowing the more senior unit to remain in the RAF’s order of battle for the foreseeable future.
Typhoons of II(AC) Squadron will soon be a regular feature in Moray skies as they join Nos.1 and 6 Squadrons at Lossiemouth, with the squadron expected to reach full operational capability at the end of March.