THE UK DEFENCE Secretary has confirmed that the first formal order for nine P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft will be paced this summer.
The P8-A, along with an additional squadron of Typhoons, is to be based at RAF Lossiemouth and expected to boost the personnel serving there by an additional 400.
Now Michael Fallon has said the order for the aircraft, which was cleared by the United States Congress last month, will be in place soon, saying during a visit to the US this week: “This new fleet of MPA will help to protect our nuclear submarines and I intend to begin ordering them this summer.”
Poseidon is the long-awaited replacement for Nimrod, the UK Government causing uproar when they decided to scrap a new fleet of those aircraft after £4billion had already been spent on their development.
The news this week has already been welcomed by Douglas Ross MSP, a long-term supporter of retaining RAF Lossiemouth when it came under threat of closure. He said: “This is a clear commitment from the UK Government to add to the base in Moray.
“Local people will be pleased to hear of this further investment and see it as recognition of what we can do at RAF Lossiemouth.”
However, the SNP’s defence spokesman at Westminster, Brendan O’Hara MP, said that the deal was “long overdue” and that the SNP had argued for years that the removal of the UK’s maritime patrol capability as a “ridiculous decision”.