Latest statistic released by the Ministry of Defence have revealed that Quick Reaction Alert missions flown by the RAF are at their highest since 2015.
A £400 million expansion project is currently underway at the base.
During a recent visit to the base in order to launch the project, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson referred to what he described as an “increasing ” threat from Russia.
By 2020, 9 submarine-hunting P-8 Poseidon aircraft will join the fight to track foreign submarines caught lurking under the surface of the North Atlantic.
Moray MP Douglas Ross told the Scotsman:
“This reiterates the crucial role Moray and RAF Lossiemouth play as a major part of the UK defence footprint.
“It’s a role that will continue to grow with the significant investment at the base by the UK government in the months and years ahead.”
As Russian aircraft approach UK airspace, they are tracked by early-warning radar before the Quick Reaction Alert teams are given instructions to intercept and monitor the Russian aircraft.
This cat-and-mouse ‘game’ has been going on for decades but has seen a recent spike in activity.
The Typhoon crews are scrambled in order to determine the ID of an aircraft and to work out what their intentions might be.
These aircraft will often not be ‘squawking’ any official identification and will utilise flight paths outside of agreed ‘air lanes’.
Personnel based at RAF Lossiemouth are tasked with monitoring airspace to the north of the country and with providing a 24-7 ‘intercept’ capability.
The new squadron of P-8s will carry anti-submarine torpedoes and will also be capable of launching S&R operations.
Lossiemouth is one of the largest and busiest fast-jet stations in the Royal Air Force and known for its close proximity to flight training areas in Scotland and its favourable local flying conditions.
Since the closure of RAF Leuchars in 2015, Lossiemouth is the only operational RAF station in Scotland and is one of two main operating bases for the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 in the United Kingdom.
It is home to three front-line units which operate the Typhoon (No. 1 Squadron, No. 2 (AC) Squadron and No. 6 Squadron) each of which contribute to the Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North capability.
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