Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Moray’s MP, Angus Robertson, and MSP, Richard Lochhead have welcomed the news that a fleet of 9 Maritime Patrol Aircraft are set to be procured and based at Lossiemouth.

The local SNP MP and MSP have long argued that the controversial scrapping of the Nimrod programme, which ended aircraft basing at Kinloss, was a major mistake, leaving a maritime nation with no maritime patrol aircraft.

It was reported yesterday that a search was on off the coast of Scotland for a Russian submarine, with the UK relying on Maritime Patrol Aircraft capability from allies, who happened to be at RAF Lossiemouth.

Commenting on the announcement which was made as part of the Strategic Defence & Security Review Angus Robertson MP said:

“I have long argued that the removal of Maritime Patrol Capability was a ridiculous decision and the announcement in the Defence Review that 9 P8 Orion Aircraft are to be purchased and based in Moray is long overdue.

“Lossiemouth is one of the busiest airbases in the UK and has a wealth of expertise to welcome the new Orions in the coming years.

“The loss of the Nimrod was a blow for the RAF, a blow for the community in Moray and a blow for our local economy. The reversal of the Government’s previous decision to scrap MPA capability is welcome for both protection of our vital maritime assets and for our local communities in Moray. Moray’s communities will undoubtedly provide a warm welcome for new RAF personnel to Moray as this decision takes effect in the coming months and years.”

Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“This is welcome news for Lossiemouth and for Moray after the tragic and widely condemned scrapping of the Nimrod programme.

“With this u-turn by the UK Government it seems that hard lessons have been learned. While it is too late for the loss of RAF personnel from Kinloss it is good news that we are getting Maritime Patrol Capability back to a Moray base.

“Moray’s economy will get a boost, as will our communities who have long been welcoming and supportive of the many personnel who have been based here over the decades, many of whom have made it their home.”

Gallery Image