23 Apr 2018

Defence Secretary on hand to launch £132m sub-hunting aircraft home

The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has cut the first turf on a £132m facility for the UK’s new fleet of submarine hunting Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) at RAF Lossiemouth.

The site will be the future home to the country’s nine-strong, new P-8A Poseidon MPA fleet. The aircraft’s role will be to protect the UK’s submarine-deployed nuclear deterrent and its two new aircraft carriers, whilst it can also deploy missiles capable of destroying enemy submarines beneath the sea.

The aircraft will work alongside eight cutting-edge new Type 26 warfare frigates – currently being built at BAE Systems’ yard in Govan. The Defence Secretary visited the shipyard to view the first completed unit of the new anti-submarine warship, HMS Glasgow, in the shipbuilding hall where it is being connected to the second unit and will be joined by others as the ship takes shape.

The MOD is investing £3 billion over the next decade in its Maritime Patrol Aircraft capability, and last year confirmed £3.7bn to start building the first three of eight Royal Navy Type 26 frigates on the Clyde as it continues to boost its capabilities.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “These submarine hunters will play a vital role in keeping the UK safe from the increasing threats and aggression we face in the skies, on the sea and below the waves.

“This massive investment demonstrates the huge contribution Scotland makes to protecting Britain and how defence generates prosperity and opportunity.

“Moray is benefitting from 200 local construction jobs during this building phase, with the number of personnel employed at RAF Lossiemouth growing by 470 to 2,200 people when this is complete.”

image © Crown Copyright

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