DEFENCE CHIEFS HAVE moved quickly to dismiss speculation over the future of nine Moray-bound P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
Media reports earlier this week suggested that the multi-million pound UK order for the aircraft could be scuppered by the incoming US President Donald Trump, suggesting that while the deal had been reached between the UK Government and manufacturers Boeing, it had not been signed by the US Government.
Clashes over the last week between Boeing and Mr Trump have been used as a sign that when he officially takes office, he may exact some revenge on the company by refusing to sign the UK deal.
However, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence has dismissed the speculation, issuing a statement that said: “A foreign military sale with the US allows us to get the capability we need, in the timeline we want, while securing best value for the UK taxpayer.
“Backed by our £178 billion equipment plan, we will receive the first UK P-8A Poseidon before the end of the decade.”
The P-8A has been a regular visitor already to RAF Lossiemouth, both under international exercise conditions and normal operations, having been seen flying from the Moray base at various times in recent months – a situation that is expected to continue until the first aircraft arrive.