avia.wikisort.org - Aerodrome

Search / Calendar

Royal Air Force Lossiemouth or more commonly RAF Lossiemouth or Lossie (IATA: LMO, ICAO: EGQS) is a military airfield located on the western edge of the town of Lossiemouth in Moray, north-east Scotland.

RAF Lossiemouth
Near Lossiemouth, Moray in Scotland
A Typhoon FGR4 in No. 6 Squadron markings taking off from runway 23 at Lossiemouth
Thoir an aire
(Scottish Gaelic for 'Be careful')
RAF Lossiemouth
Shown within Moray
RAF Lossiemouth
RAF Lossiemouth (the United Kingdom)
Coordinates57°42′19″N 003°20′21″W
TypeMain Operating Base
Area580 hectares (1,400 acres)[1]
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
OperatorRoyal Air Force
Controlled byNo. 1 Group (Air Combat)
Site history
Built1938 (1938)–1939
In use
  • 1939–1946 (Royal Air Force)
  • 1946–1972 (Fleet Air Arm)
  • 1972 – present (Royal Air Force)
Garrison information
Group Captain Jim Lee
OccupantsFlying units: See Based units section for full list.
Airfield information
IdentifiersIATA: LMO, ICAO: EGQS, WMO: 03068
Elevation12.5 metres (41 ft) AMSL
Direction Length and surface
05/23 2,764 metres (9,068 ft) Asphalt
10/28 1,850 metres (6,070 ft) Asphalt
Source: UK MIL AIP Lossiemouth[2]

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 four front-line fast jet units which operate the Typhoon: No. 1 Squadron, No. 2 Squadron, No. 6 Squadron and No. 9 Squadron. All four Squadrons contribute to the Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North capability which provides continuous protection of UK airspace. It is also home to No. 120 Squadron and No. 201 Squadron, both flying the Poseidon MRA1 in the maritime patrol role. It has also been designated as the future home of the RAF's new fleet of three Boeing Wedgetail AEW1 airborne early warning and control aircraft, with deliveries commencing in 2023. There are a number of non-flying units at RAF Lossiemouth including No. 5 Force Protection Wing and an RAF Mountain Rescue Service team.

The airfield opened in 1939 and was operated by the RAF, predominantly as part of Bomber Command, until 1946 when it transferred to the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) and became known as RNAS Lossiemouth or HMS Fulmar. Lossiemouth was used as a training station by the FAA until it was handed back to the RAF in September 1972, after which it has largely operated as a fast-jet base.


Construction (1938–1939)

Construction started during the summer of 1938, when 220 hectares (540 acres) of agricultural land was acquired in order to accommodate the airfield. The land was cleared of vegetation and buildings and by the spring of 1939 several wooden huts were present. Group Captain P.E Maitland was the first station commander and took up post in March 1939, with the station formally opening on 1 May 1939.[3] The first unit to take up residence at Lossiemouth was No. 15 Flying Training School RAF (15 FTS), initially equipped with thirteen Airspeed Oxfords and five Hawker Harts.[4] Aircraft were stored in the open until the first hangars were completed in August 1939. That same month tragedy struck when three crew members were killed during a mid-air collision between two Oxfords.[5]

Second World War (1939–1945)

At the outbreak of the Second World War, a detachment of Seaforth Highlanders was sent to Lossiemouth to guard the station, and anti-aircraft defences were installed. Flying activity increased, with 15 FTS receiving more Oxfords and Harts and the introduction of the North American Harvard; eleven Fairey Battles were also delivered for storage. The first front-line aircraft to operate from Lossiemouth were a detachment of twelve Vickers Wellington bombers belonging to No. 99 Squadron, arriving in November 1939 to take part in attack missions targeting the German cruiser Deutschland, which was operating between Iceland and the Shetland Isles.[5] January 1940 saw detachments of Handley Page Hampdens from No. 44 Squadron and No. 50 Squadron arrive to take part in offensive patrols over the North Sea. However, the operation was short-lived as a result of bad weather, with the aircraft returning to their home base in mid-February.[5]

Wellington bombers of No. 9 Squadron which operated from Lossiemouth during 1940
Wellington bombers of No. 9 Squadron which operated from Lossiemouth during 1940

A detachment of No. 9 Squadron spent a short period of time operating Wellingtons during April 1940, before being replaced by No. 107 Squadron and No. 110 Squadron, which were equipped with Bristol Blenheims. During this period the first loss to enemy action of an aircraft operating from Lossiemouth occurred when three Blenheims were shot down over Norway.[6]

It soon became apparent that the frequent detachments of bomber aircraft were disrupting the training programme at Lossiemouth, and therefore, due to the strategic importance of the station as a base for bomber aircraft, it was decided to relocate 15 FTS to RAF Middle Wallop in Hampshire. On 27 April 1940, after the unit's departure, Lossiemouth transferred to No. 6 Group of RAF Bomber Command and No. 20 Operational Training Unit (20 OTU) was established, initially operating Wellingtons and Avro Ansons.[7]

No. 46 Maintenace Unit (46 MU) was also formed in April 1940. 46 MU's role was to modify and fit out new aircraft before they were forwarded to front-line squadrons. A variety of aircraft were serviced, including Hawker Hurricanes, de Havilland Tiger Moths, Hawker Audaxes, and a de Havilland Hornet Moth. The unit primarily used six Robin and eight Super Robin hangars; however, due to a shortage of space, many aircraft were stored in fields outside the station.[7] Lossiemouth's first satellite airfield, located at Bogs of Mayne 10 mi (16 km) to the south and known as RAF Elgin, opened in June 1940.[7]

One officer and two aircrew were killed on 26 October 1940 when RAF Lossiemouth was attacked by the Luftwaffe for the first time. The attack by three Heinkel He 111s resulted in the destruction of two Blenheims and damage to two Miles Magisters, two Tiger Moths and a Hurricane. Three hangars were also damaged, the resultant holes from cannon fire still visible today.[8] One of the Heinkels crashed on the airfield, having either been hit by ground fire or destroyed by its own bombs. All four of the crew are buried in a Lossiemouth churchyard.[9] As a result of the raid, Hurricanes of No. 232 Squadron were moved to RAF Elgin to protect the area from attacks.[10]

The No. 20 Operational Training Unit memorial at Bogs of Mayne
The No. 20 Operational Training Unit memorial at Bogs of Mayne

Flying activity in early 1941 was limited due to the poor condition of the airfield; improved weather in the Spring increased activity from 20 OTU and 46 MU, as well as from continued bomber detachments. Operational sorties were predominately undertaken by Blenheims of No. 21 Squadron, No. 82 Squadron, No. 110 Squadron and No. 114 Squadron. By the winter of 1941, the airfield had become so muddy that the Wellingtons of 20 OTU were temporarily relocated to RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk.[11] The increased activity by 46 MU resulted in two satellite landing grounds (SLG) being established to store aircraft off-site. These were at RAF Black Isle (42 SLG) where Bristol Beaufighters were kept and RAF Leanach (43 SLG) near Culloden, where Hurricanes and Supermarine Spitfires were stored.[10]

Lossiemouth was used during 1942 as a base to launch several unsuccessful missions to sink the German battleship Tirpitz, which at the time was operating in Norwegian fjords. The first missions were undertaken in January 1942 by a detachment of thirteen Short Stirlings of No. 15 Squadron and No. 149 Squadron and thirteen Handley Page Halifaxes of No. 10 Squadron and No. 76 Squadron. Further attempts were made during April by Avro Lancasters of No. 44 Squadron and No. 97 Squadron and Halifaxes of No. 10 Squadron. Lancasters of No. 9 Squadron later joined the operation.[12] 1942 also saw numerous accidents involving 20 OTU aircraft, many of which resulted in death and serious injuries. These accidents were attributed to a combination of fatigued aircraft, inexperienced crews and poor weather.[12] Wellingtons of 20 OTU were also involved in strategic bombing raids on German cities throughout 1942, the training aircraft being required to help reach the target number of 1000 bombers per raid.[13] The airfield's first surfaced runways, (06/24 5,997 ft (1,828 m); 09/27 4,498 ft (1,371 m); 01/19 4,200 ft (1,280 m)), were constructed by an engineering battalion of the US Army Air Force in late 1942 and helped to reduce interruptions to flying as a result of the grass strips being affected by poor weather. A new control tower was also constructed.[12]

In September 1943, Wellingtons of 'C' Flight 20 OTU, moved to the second of the Lossiemouth satellite airfields, RAF Milltown, located 3 mi (4.8 km) to the south-east. By now 46 MU were concentrating their work on Bristol Beaufighters and Lancasters and the SLG at RAF Leanach had been replaced with a new site at Dornoch golf course, which became known as RAF Dornoch (40 SLG).[14] 20 OTU received its official crest in 1943, with two examples cast in concrete being constructed at Lossiemouth and RAF Elgin. The crest at Lossiemouth no longer exists and although little now remains of the airfield at Elgin, the concrete crest is a war memorial for those who served there.[15][14]

A No. 617 Squadron crew and their Lancaster bomber following the successful operation launched from Lossiemouth against the German battleship Tirpitz on 12 November 1944
A No. 617 Squadron crew and their Lancaster bomber following the successful operation launched from Lossiemouth against the German battleship Tirpitz on 12 November 1944

Further operations against Tirpitz took place between September and November 1944. Operation Catechism finally resulted in the German battleship being sunk near Tromsø on 12 November 1944. Thirty-eight Lancasters of No. 9 Squadron and No. 617 Squadron launched from Lossiemouth, Kinloss and Milltown and destroyed the vessel with Tallboy bombs.[16] Nearly 50 years later, No. 617 Squadron transferred to Lossiemouth and was based there between 1993 and 2014. Examples of the Tallboy, Grand Slam and Up Keep (bouncing bomb) were on display within the squadron site.[17]

In July 1945, after the end of hostilities in Europe, 20 OTU was disbanded and 46 MU continued to prepare aircraft for operations in the Far East. After the war ended, 46 MU began the enormous task of breaking-up surplus aircraft for scrap. At one point there were around 900 aircraft on the airfield awaiting disposal.[18] On 28 July 1945 Lossiemouth was transferred to No. 17 Group of RAF Coastal Command, with the arrival of No. 111 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit from the Bahamas shortly thereafter. By August 1945, the unit was operating forty-one Consolidated Liberators, ten Halifaxes and a North American Mitchell; the unit was disbanded in July 1946.[18]

HMS Fulmar (1946–1972)

Lossiemouth transferred from the Royal Air Force to the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) on 2 July 1946 and became known as Royal Navy Air Station (RNAS) Lossiemouth or HMS Fulmar.[18] On the FAA taking control, No. 46 MU moved to RAF Elgin. Lossiemouth was used as a basic training station for FAA pilots who moved on to RNAS Culdrose (HMS Seahawk) in Cornwall for instrument training. RAF Milltown also transferred to the FAA, became known as HMS Fulmar II and operated as a Deck Landing Training School. The last stage of training was practised at Fulmar II before students could land on HMS Theseus in the Moray Firth.[19] The first FAA squadron, No. 766 Naval Air Squadron, arrived in August 1946 and operated Supermarine Seafires and Fairey Fireflies until its departure to RNAS Culdrose in 1953.[20] In the late 1940s, to replace poor quality war-era facilities, seven hundred new married living-quarters were constructed in the nearby towns of Lossiemouth and Elgin, with the first opening in September 1949. The practice of constructing living-quarters off-station differed from that of the RAF, which typically constructed such accommodation within the boundaries of their airfields. In 1952 and early 1953, Lossiemouth's runways were upgraded and extended to their present lengths; during that time aircraft temporarily operated from Milltown.[21]

The Naval Air Fighter and Strike Training School transferred to the station in 1953 and over the next decade many aircraft types operated from Lossiemouth in the training role, including Supermarine Seafires, Fairey Fireflys, Hawker Sea Hawks, Hawker Sea Furys, Supermarine Scimitars, De Havilland Sea Venoms and Hawker Hunters.[22] Four Gloster Meteors were used as target-towers.[23] One of the first squadrons of the recently established Federal Germany Navy was formed at Lossiemouth in May 1958 under the NATO cooperative policy. No. 764 Naval Air Squadron had responsibility for training German crews on twelve Sea Hawks, which operated in German Navy markings. A commissioning ceremony was attended by British and German naval and political figures.[23][24] In 1958 it was announced that station facilities were to be upgraded at a cost of £3 million, including the refurbishment of living accommodation and the creation of the Fulmar Club social club. Princess Alexandra opened a new officers mess in July 1965.[25]

A Buccaneer S.1 of No. 700Z Squadron at RNAS Lossiemouth circa 1961
A Buccaneer S.1 of No. 700Z Squadron at RNAS Lossiemouth circa 1961

The Blackburn Buccaneer arrived in March 1961 when No. 700Z Naval Air Squadron was created as an Intensive Flying Trials unit to evaluate the aircraft's weapons, systems and performance. Initially, the squadron operated two aircraft and then five by the end of 1961.[26] The first operational Buccaneer squadron (No. 801 Naval Air Squadron) was established on 17 July 1962, followed by No. 809 Naval Air Squadron in January 1963 and No. 800 Naval Air Squadron in March 1964.[22] The Buccaneer was capable of delivering nuclear weapons as well as conventional weapons for anti-shipping warfare and was typically active over the North Sea during its service. Buccaneers also embarked on aircraft carriers HMS Victorious, Eagle, Ark Royal and Hermes.[27] On 28 March 1967, Buccaneers from Lossiemouth bombed the shipwrecked supertanker Torrey Canyon off the western coast of Cornwall, to ignite the oil and avoid an environmental disaster. The mid-1960s saw further investment in facilities at Lossiemouth including new living quarters and messes.[25]

The 1966 Defence White Paper saw the withdrawal of most British military forces stationed East of Suez during the 1970s, reducing the need for aircraft carriers and fixed-wing naval aviation such as the Buccaneer. The aircraft had been considered by the RAF for a medium-range interdictor and tactical strike aircraft. As a result, No. 736 Naval Air Squadron began training RAF air and ground crews on the Buccaneer in 1969.[25] Between September 1967 and March 1970, the Fleet Air Arm's most decorated pilot, Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown was station commander; it was his last command.[28][29][30] The late 1960s saw the FAA reduce its activities at Lossiemouth, although Fairey Gannets of No. 849 Naval Air Squadron were transferred from RNAS Brawdy to Lossiemouth on 13 November 1971. The Buccaneer force was reduced in size with several squadrons departing or disbanding in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The last Buccaneers, of No. 809 Naval Air Squadron, left on 25 September 1972, leaving the only Fleet Air Arm aircraft left being the Gannets and search and rescue helicopters.[25]

Return of the Royal Air Force (1972–1991)

A Shackleton AEW.2  of No. 8 Squadron which was based at Lossiemouth from 1973 to 1991
A Shackleton AEW.2 of No. 8 Squadron which was based at Lossiemouth from 1973 to 1991

The station was returned to Royal Air Force control on 28 September 1972, with the first RAF squadron operating from the new RAF Lossiemouth being 'D' Flight, No. 202 Squadron in the helicopter search and rescue role.[19] The Jaguar Conversion Team (designated No. 226 Operational Conversion Unit on 1 October 1974) arrived in May 1973 to train the RAF's first SEPECAT Jaguar crews. By late 1974, No. 6 Squadron and No. 54 Squadron were operational.[31]

In August 1973, No. 8 Squadron and their twelve Avro Shackleton AEW.2s, operating as airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft, moved to Lossiemouth from nearby RAF Kinloss. The Shackleton was an interim aircraft for the RAF AEW requirement, which saw the gradual replacement of Fleet Air Arm Fairey Gannets, culminating in the disbandment of No. 849 Naval Air Squadron in November 1978.[31] Towards the end of the 1970s, two non-flying defence units took up residence at the station, starting with the arrival in December 1978 of No. 48 Squadron RAF Regiment equipped with Rapier surface-to-air missiles. July 1979 saw the formation of No. 2622 (Highland) Royal Air Force Auxiliary Regiment for ground defence.[19] From 1978 to 1980, No. 2 Tactical Weapons Unit operated the Hawker Hunter from Lossiemouth.[19]

The Buccaneer made a return to Lossiemouth in the 1980s as RAF maritime strike aircraft, the first arriving in November 1980 when No. 12 Squadron transferred from RAF Honington in Suffolk, followed by No. 208 Squadron in July 1983. The remainder of the RAF Buccaneer fleet arrived in October 1984 when No. 237 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), took up residence.[31] Although the Buccaneer training unit, No. 237 OCU also had a reserve role of overland laser designation in support of RAF Jaguars.[32]

Operation Granby

A Buccaneer S.2B in Gulf War colours
Gulf War nose art on a Buccaneer S.2B

During the 1991 Gulf War, personnel from all three Buccaneer squadrons took part in Operation Granby, the aircraft's first combat operation.[32] Following a short-notice decision to deploy to the Middle East, the first batch of six aircraft were brought to readiness in under 72 hours, including the adoption of desert-pink camouflage and additional war-time equipment. The first six aircraft departed from Lossiemouth for Muharraq in Bahrain at 04:00 on 26 January 1991. Twelve Buccaneers operated as laser designators and it became common for each attack formation to comprise four Tornados and two Buccaneers; each Buccaneer carrying a Pave Spike laser designator pod, one as a spare in case of equipment failure.[32] The Buccaneer force became known as the 'Sky Pirates' in reference to the maritime history of the Buccaneer. Each aircraft had a Jolly Roger flag painted on its port side, alongside nose art featuring female characters. In recognition of their Scottish roots, the Buccaneers were also named after Speyside whisky such as Glenfiddich, Glen Elgin and The Macallan.[33] Hostilities ended in late February 1991, the Buccaneers having flown 218 sorties without loss, designating targets for other aircraft and later dropping 48 Paveway II laser-guided bombs.[34]

Transition to Tornado (1991–1999)

The replacement for the ageing Shackleton AEW.2, the British Aerospace Nimrod AEW.3, suffered considerable development difficulties which culminated in the aircraft being cancelled during 1986, for an off-the-shelf purchase of the Boeing Sentry AEW1. The last Shackletons were retired in July 1991 and No. 8 Squadron transferred to RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, to equip with their new aircraft.[31]

Several Tornado GR4 landing at RAF Lossiemouth
Several Tornado GR4 landing at RAF Lossiemouth

It had been planned for the Buccaneer to remain in service until the end of the 1990s, having been extensively modernised in a process lasting up to 1989; the end of the Cold War stimulated major changes in British defence policy, many aircraft being deemed surplus to requirements. To allow for the early retirement of the Buccaneer, twenty-six Panavia Tornado GR1s were modified to GR1B standard to allow use of the BAe Sea Eagle missile for maritime strike operations.[35] The reduction of the Buccaneer fleet began on 1 October 1991 when No. 237 OCU was disbanded, followed by No. 12 Squadron in September 1993. No. 27 Squadron, then at RAF Marham, disbanded and re-formed at Lossiemouth as No.12 Squadron, operating the Tornado GR1B.[19]

In 1992, No. 237 Field Squadron of the Territorial Army was formed with responsibility for Airfield Damage Repair (ADR). This squadron became part of No. 76 Engineer Regiment (Volunteers) of the Royal Engineers, responsible for ADR in the north of England and across Scotland.[19] The Tornado Weapons Conversion Unit, renamed No. 15 (Reserve) Squadron, arrived from RAF Honington in Suffolk on 1 November 1993.[36] The last Buccaneers were withdrawn in April 1994 when No. 208 Squadron disbanded. No. 617 Squadron then transferred to Lossiemouth from RAF Marham in Norfolk, with its Tornado GR1Bs.[19] No. 48 Squadron RAF Regiment and their Rapiers left Lossiemouth for RAF Honington on 1 July 1996.[19] Group Captain Graham Miller was station commander between 1995 and 1998 and later achieved the rank of Air Marshal, holding the post of Deputy Commander at Allied Joint Force Command in Naples from 2004 until his retirement in 2008.[37]

No. 15 (R) Squadron increased in size in 1999 after the closure of the Tri-national Tornado Training Establishment (TTTE) at RAF Cottesmore.[19] The squadron became the RAF Tornado GR4 Operational Conversion Unit, training pilots and weapon systems operators for posting to front-line Tornado squadrons at Lossiemouth and RAF Marham. The squadron accepted aircrew straight from advanced flying training at RAF Leeming and RAF Valley and provided refresher courses for experienced aircrew returning to the Tornado GR4, following other tours of duty. The squadron also trained aircrew officers from foreign nations posted to the UK on two to three-year exchange tours.[38]

21st century

A SEPECAT Jaguar T4 of No. 16(R) Squadron landing at Lossiemouth
A SEPECAT Jaguar T4 of No. 16(R) Squadron landing at Lossiemouth

To concentrate the Jaguar fleet in one place, No. 16(R) Squadron with eleven aircraft and around 100 personnel departed Lossiemouth for RAF Coltishall in Norfolk in July 2000, bringing to an end Lossiemouth's 27-year association with the Jaguar.[39] After the arrival of No. 14 Squadron and its Tornado GR1s from RAF Brüggen in Germany during January 2001, Lossiemouth became the busiest fast-jet station in the RAF.[19] In May 2001, No. 51 Squadron RAF Regiment was re-established, to join No. 2622 RAuxAF Squadron, under the new No. 5 Force Protection Wing Headquarters.[40]

F-35 Lightning II and threat of closure

The Ministry of Defence announced in November 2005 that Lossiemouth would be the main operating base for the RAF's new F-35 Lightning II fleet, which was expected to enter service in 2013.[41] In 2010 The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) cast doubt on whether the F-35 would be based at Lossiemouth and raised fears in the local community that the station could close. On 7 November 2010 up to 7,000 people took part in a march and rally in Lossiemouth in support of retaining the RAF station, including Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and other politicians.[42] With Moray being the area in Scotland most dependent on military spending, it was feared the closure of RAF Lossiemouth and the confirmed closure of nearby RAF Kinloss, would lead to economic uncertainty and much more unemployment.[43] A petition with more than 30,000 signatures was delivered to 10 Downing Street by campaign members on 11 January 2011.[44]

In July 2011 the Ministry of Defence announced that Lossiemouth would remain open with Lossiemouth's Tornados moving to RAF Marham. RAF Leuchars in Fife would close and transfer to the British Army, with the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4s and responsibility for Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North (QRA) moving to Lossiemouth.[45][46] In March 2013 the Ministry of Defence confirmed that the F-35 Lighting II would be based at Marham.[47][48]

From Tornado to Typhoon

A Tornado GR4 of No. 617 Squadron over RAF Lossiemouth during 2009
A Tornado GR4 of No. 617 Squadron over RAF Lossiemouth during 2009

After the SDSR, No. 14 Squadron disbanded on 1 June 2011, reducing the number of Tornados based at Lossiemouth.[49] In 2012, a new combined mess for junior ranks and senior non-commission officers was completed, replacing separate buildings constructed in the 1960s, which were demolished.[50] The new facility was opened by the then station commander Group Captain Ian Gale and the Lord Lieutenant of Moray, Grenville Johnston.[51]

Following the announcement in 2011 that Lossiemouth would remain open, £17 million was spent in 2013 refurbishing the airfield for the arrival of the Typhoon, with a further £70 million set aside for later. Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) facilities were built in the northern hardened aircraft shelter (HAS) complex and alterations were made to hangars 1 and 3 and new ground-support IT and communication systems.[52][53] In March 2014, three Typhoons from RAF Leuchars arrived at Lossiemouth to take part in Exercise Moray Venture, a week-long operation to test new facilities ahead of the aircraft's arrival later that year.[54]

The No. 2 (AC) Squadron building with a Eurofighter Typhoon on the flight-line
The No. 2 (AC) Squadron building with a Eurofighter Typhoon on the flight-line

In preparation for the transition to the Typhoon, No.12 Squadron and No.617 Squadron disbanded on 1 April 2014, leaving No.15 (R) Squadron as the only remaining Tornado unit at Lossiemouth.[55][56] The first Typhoon unit, No. 6 Squadron, transferred from RAF Leuchars to Lossiemouth on 20 June 2014. Nine aircraft arrived in formation in the shape of a number 6.[57] No. 1 Squadron followed on 8 September 2014, when responsibility for Quick Reaction Alert (North) was transferred from RAF Leuchars to Lossiemouth.[58]

The third Typhoon squadron based at Lossiemouth, No. 2 Squadron, arrived in January 2015.[59] In preparation of the squadron's arrival, work commenced in October 2014 to refurbish the southern HAS complex, which was formerly occupied by No.617 Squadron. The nine aircraft shelters were refurbished, a hard-standing for a flight-line capable of accommodating eight aircraft was built, new flood-lighting was installed and the dining facilities were improved. A new headquarters building was constructed on the site of a World War II era K-type hangar (K20). The building has space for engineering and logistics facilities, a survival equipment section, classrooms and office space. This allowed No. 2 Squadron to operate independently from other squadrons at Lossiemouth.[60]

In May 2015, construction began on a new 250 m × 16 m (273 yd × 17 yd) section of taxiway to provide improved access between the QRA facilities in the northern HAS site and runway 23/05. The new taxiway was constructed by 53 Field Squadron, part of 39 (Air Support) Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, based at nearby Kinloss Barracks.[61] The project was completed in September 2015.[62]

Tornado GR4 ZA602 F 'MacRoberts Reply'  of No.15(R) Squadron taxiing at Lossiemouth
Tornado GR4 ZA602 F 'MacRoberts Reply' of No.15(R) Squadron taxiing at Lossiemouth

No. 15 (R) Squadron disbanded as a Tornado unit on 31 March 2017. Aircraft and crews were absorbed into front-line squadrons at RAF Marham where refresher training on the Tornado was carried out.[63] To mark the occasion, on 17 March 2017, five Tornados from the squadron carried out a flypast of the former RAF base at Leuchars, the weapons range at RAF Tain and Aberdeen International Airport, before performing a simulated airfield strike on RAF Lossiemouth in front of base personnel, families and friends. A disbandment parade was held on 31 March 2017, signifying the end of twenty-four years of Tornado operations at Lossiemouth. Over 750 current and former squadron personnel attended the ceremony where the "Sands of Kuwait", a tune written to commemorate the 1991 Gulf War (the squadron's last battle honour), was played on the bagpipes and a Tornado fly-past took place.[64]

The final infrastructure required to support the Typhoons was completed in June 2017, when Rolls-Royce opened its Typhoon Propulsion Support Facility; this is operated by a combination of civilian and RAF personnel and provides engineering support for Typhoon Eurojet EJ200 engines.[65]

On 4 March 2016 Lossiemouth was announced as the preferred option to accommodate an additional Typhoon squadron and 400 personnel.[66] Four Typhoon FGR4s were assigned to No. 9 Squadron (Designate) at Lossiemouth in February 2019.[67] The unit re-equipped as an aggressor and air defence squadron operating Typhoon Tranche 1 on 1 April 2019, thereby continuing in unbroken service upon the Tornado's retirement at RAF Marham.[68][69][70][71]

End of search and rescue (SAR) operations

Two 'D' Flight No. 202 Squadron Sea King HAR3 outside their hangar at Lossiemouth
Two 'D' Flight No. 202 Squadron Sea King HAR3 outside their hangar at Lossiemouth

In 2006, government announced its intentions to privatise the RAF Search and Rescue Force (the search and rescue (SAR) helicopter service).[72] A ten-year contract worth £1.6 billion was signed in March 2013 with Bristow Helicopters to run the service from 2015 with new AgustaWestland AW189 and Sikorsky S-92 helicopters. SAR helicopter operations in the north-east of Scotland ceased at Lossiemouth and moved to Inverness Airport, located 30 mi (48 km) to the west.[73] 'D' flight of No. 202 Squadron disbanded on 1 April 2015 and its Sea King HAR3s were stored at RAF Valley, Anglesey, bringing nearly 43 years of search and rescue operations at Lossiemouth to an end. The Sea Kings had been a familiar sight in the skies above Scotland, having been involved in the Piper Alpha disaster, Lockerbie bombing and appearing in local and national media.[74]

A farewell party to be held by 'D' Flight personnel to thank the local community for their support, was cancelled by RAF officials. There was widespread criticism of the decision but the RAF considered that the event could contravene campaigning rules for the UK general election, as it could be perceived as being political.[75]

Morayvia, a local charity bought the former Lossiemouth Sea King 'XZ592' from the Ministry of Defence in March 2015. The aircraft is now on display as part of Morayvia's Science and Technology Experience Project at Kinloss.[76]

Arrival of Poseidon

On 23 November 2015, the UK announced its intention to order nine new Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (known as the Poseidon MRA1 in RAF service) in the SDSR.[77] In June 2017, it was announced that No. 120 Squadron would be the first Poseidon squadron.[78] The unit reformed in early 2018 and by February 2019 air and ground crews from the unit and the Poseidon Line Squadron had commenced training with the US Navy at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.[79][80]

Construction of a new hangar and support facility for the Poseidon fleet, known as the Poseidon Strategic Facility, begun in April 2018 and was completed in July 2020. The 33,000 square metres (360,000 sq ft) facility was built on the northern side of the airfield and includes maintenance facilities capable of accommodating three aircraft simultaneously, a tactical operations centre, training & simulation facilities and accommodation for two squadrons. The building was constructed by Robertson Northern with a contract value of £132m.[81][82] In August 2021, it was named the 'Atlantic Building', reflecting its maritime warfare role.[83]

The RAF's second Poseidon MRA1 arrives at Lossiemouth on 13 October 2020
The RAF's second Poseidon MRA1 arrives at Lossiemouth on 13 October 2020

As Lossiemouth's airfield was largely set-up for fast-jet operations, the runways and associated operating surfaces required resurfacing and alterations to safely accommodate regular Poseidon operations. Work on the £75 million contract commenced in May 2020, with the airfield being closed between 10 August and 16 October 2020 whilst the intersection of the two runways was resurfaced. During the closure, routine Typhoon training operations were relocated to the airfield at Kinloss Barracks and the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Force for the north of the UK temporarily relocated to Leuchars Station.[84] The RAF's first Poseidon arrived in the UK from the US in February 2020, initially operating from Kinloss. It was later joined by a second aircraft before both moved to their new home at Lossiemouth in October 2020.[85] The fleet was completed in January 2022 when the ninth aircraft was delivered to Lossiemouth.[86] No. 201 Squadron reformed at Lossiemouth during 2021 as the second unit operating the Poseidon, sharing the fleet with No. 120 Squadron.[87]


The southern hardened aircraft shelter complex in 2006
The southern hardened aircraft shelter complex in 2006

The RAF Lossiemouth site extends to 580 ha (1,400 acres)[1] and accommodates two runways, the main runway (05/23) is 2,764 m (9,068 ft; 3,023 yd) long and the secondary runway (10/28) is 1,850 m (6,070 ft; 2,020 yd) long.[2] Hangars at Lossiemouth date from the Second World War and comprise three C-type, one J-type, six L-type, four K-type and a Bellman type. The northern HAS complex has nine shelters and QRA facilities and the southern complex has a further nine shelters. Both HAS complexes were constructed in the 1970s.[88]

Former Super Robin hangar now in agricultural use at Silverhills Farm.
Former Super Robin hangar now in agricultural use at Silverhills Farm.

The airfield boundary has changed over the years and several former Super Robin hangars, dating from the Second World War are outside the current airfield boundary, although they are no longer in military use. An example is within the grounds of Gordounston School. Former airfield dispersals are also evident in the same vicinity.[89] During the Second World War the airfield was defended with eight pillboxes, at least six of them Type 27 pillboxes, one rectangular and the other Type 22 or Type 24.[90][8]

BAE Systems operates the Typhoon Training Facility (North), which is home to four Emulated Deployable Cockpit Trainer (EDCT) flight simulators. The expansion of the facility from two to four EDCTs was completed in April 2018.[91] During the Tornado's tenure at Lossiemouth, the station was home to two Tornado GR4 flight simulators, operated by Thales UK.[92]

Aviation fuel is supplied to Lossiemouth through a 40.6 mi (65.3 km)-stretch of the CLH Pipeline System which connects the airfield to a fuel depot in Inverness.[93]

In common with other military establishments in Scotland and Northern Ireland, CarillionAmey, a joint venture between Carillion and Amey, provide hard facilities management and maintenance at Lossiemouth.[94]

In March 2015, the UK government ruled out Lossiemouth as well as nearby RAF Kinloss as candidates for a new spaceport due to opposition from the Ministry of Defence, which cited over-riding operational factors.[95] The decision was criticised by local politicians.[96]

In 2021, construction started on a new fire station and new Oshkosh Striker vehicles were introduced.[97]

Role and operations

RAF Lossiemouth's mission statement is "Sustain Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North and deliver global operations".[98]

The Engineering & Logistics Wing is responsible for maintaining engineering support and supply including weapons and survival equipment on aircraft. It is also responsible for the maintenance and repair of aircraft not currently flying on squadrons and the station support equipment and vehicles.[99] The Operations Wing plans and controls all flying and major exercises on station and manages all activities that have a direct impact on flying operations. This includes intelligence gathering, weather forecasting and communications systems.[99] The Base Support Wing manages all support functions for the station's infrastructure and personnel, such as health and safety, medical centre, non-flying training, accommodation, family support and the deployment of Station personnel.[99]

Moray Flight of No. 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron (Royal Auxiliary Air Force) was established in 2013 to support NATO maritime patrol aircraft and the UK Maritime Air Operations Centre when deployed to Lossiemouth. The unit is also supporting the introduction of the P-8A Poseidon at Lossiemouth.[100]

RAF Lossiemouth is the parent station of Tain Air Weapons Range which is located approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the north west.[101]

With the closure of nearby RAF Kinloss and the transfer of the station to the British Army in July 2012, the RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) became the RAF Lossiemouth MRT. The team continued to operate from their purpose-built base at Kinloss Barracks for over two years, until they moved into a 'D' Flight No. 202 Squadron hangar in February 2015.[102][103]


Group Captain Jim Lee was appointed as the Station Commander of RAF Lossiemouth on 8 July 2022.[104]

In July 2017 a spaniel named Dee was made the official station mascot and given the rank of Sergeant. Dee is a former RAF Police working dog and specialised in explosives detection. He retired from operational duties when his leg was amputated as a result of an injury.[105]

Typhoon operations

A No. 6 Squadron Typhoon FGR4 intercepts a Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-95 'Bear'
A No. 6 Squadron Typhoon FGR4 intercepts a Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-95 'Bear'

The Typhoon FGR4 provides the RAF with a multi-role combat capability for air policing, peace support and high intensity conflict. Lossiemouth Typhoon squadrons have operated against ISIS in Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Shader and have participated in the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission where they operated from Ämari air base in Estonia.[106][107]

Lossiemouth's four Typhoon squadrons are responsible for maintaining the Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North mission (QRA(I)N). Aircraft and crews are held at a high state of readiness, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to respond to unidentified aircraft approaching UK airspace. QRA missions range from civilian airliners which have stopped responding to air traffic control, to intercepting Russian aircraft such as the Tupolev Tu-95 Bear and Tu-160 Blackjack.[108]

No. 5 Force Protection Wing

No. 51 Squadron RAF Regiment Foxhound vehicle on patrol at the perimeter of Camp Bastion, Afghanistan in 2014
No. 51 Squadron RAF Regiment Foxhound vehicle on patrol at the perimeter of Camp Bastion, Afghanistan in 2014

No. 5 Force Protection Wing HQ provides operational planning, command and control to two RAF Regiment field squadrons attached to the wing, No. 51 Squadron RAF Regiment and No. 2622 (Highland) Squadron's (RAuxAF), whose purpose is to protect RAF bases at home and abroad from ground attack.[40] No. 2622 Squadron consists primarily of RAF Regiment gunners also trained as infantry and has a limited number of personnel in support duties. The unit provides officers and gunners to supplement the regular RAF Regiment on overseas operations and exercises. It is the only squadron in the RAF or RAuxAF to have its own Pipes and Drums band, which formed in 1999 and is open to both Service and civilian members. It is also the only operational squadron to have spent its existence based at Lossiemouth.[109] Both squadrons have seen action on Operation Telic in Iraq and Operation Herrick in Afghanistan, with No. 51 Squadron also involved in Operation Shader against ISIS.[110]

No. 4 RAF Police Squadron also falls under the command of the wing and has responsibility for policing and security in Scotland and northern England.[111]

Air Training Corps – Highland Wing

Lossiemouth is home to the Highland Wing of the Air Training Corps. A new Air Cadet Regional Centre was opened in October 2014, which contains the Highland Wing headquarters, activity centre with a flight simulator, radio communications training room, IT Suite and several briefing rooms. Overnight residential accommodation for 48 cadets and 8 adult staff is also provided. The centre was named after and opened by retired Group Captain Phil Dacre.[112]

Based units

Flying and notable non-flying units based at RAF Lossiemouth.[113][114]

Royal Air Force


Lossiemouth Development Programme

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation formally announced the Lossiemouth Development Programme (LDP) in October 2016. The LDP involves £400 million being invested in RAF Lossiemouth for buildings and airfield infrastructure to allow the additional Typhoon squadron (IX(B) Squadron) and new Poseidon aircraft to operate from Lossiemouth, such as a new control tower, Defence Fire and Rescue Service facilities, single and family living accommodation.[117][118] Professional consultancy firm WYG Plc was appointed as programme manager of the LDP.[119]

In February 2017 an environmental impact assessment (EIA) screening opinion for redevelopment work was submitted to Moray Council, the local planning authority. The submission to Moray Council outlined the following proposed works at the station:[120]

Moray Council determined that the proposed works did not meet the requirement to go through the EIA process.[120]

E-7 Wedgetail

In December 2020, the RAF announced that its new fleet of Boeing E-7 Wedgetail AEW1 aircraft were to be based at Lossiemouth from 2023. The Airborne early warning and control aircraft will replace the E-3D Sentry AEW1 fleet which is currently operated by No. 8 Squadron at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.[122] The construction of technical facilities to support Wedgetail operations started in October 2022.[123] As of late 2022, the arrival date for the aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth had been delayed to 2024.[124]

Previous units and aircraft

List of past, present and future flying units and major non-flying units permanently based at Lossiemouth.

Source: Unless otherwise indicated details sourced are from: Hughes, Jim. (1993), Airfield Focus 11: Lossiemouth. Peterborough, GMS Enterprises. ISBN 1 870384 24 5, pp. 22–23

Service Unit Aircraft / Role From Date From Date To To
RAF No. 15 Flight Training School (15 FTS) North American Harvard, Airspeed Oxford, Hawker Hart, Miles Master Formed 1 May 1939 20 April 1940 RAF Middle Wallop
RAF No. 46 Maintenance Unit Various Formed 15 April 1940 15 February 1947 Disbanded
RAF No. 20 Operational Training Unit Vickers Wellington, Avro Anson, Westland Lysander, Miles Martinet Formed 27 May 1940 17 July 1945 Disbanded
RAF No. 57 Squadron Bristol Blenheim RAF Wyton 24 June 1940 13 August 1940 RAF Elgin
RAF No. 21 Squadron Bristol Blenheim RAF Watton 24 June 1940 29 October 1940 RAF Watton
RAF No. 82 Squadron Bristol Blenheim RAF Bodney 18 April 1941 3 May 1941 RAF Bodney
RAF No. 21 Squadron Bristol Blenheim RAF Watton 27 May 1941 14 June 1941 RAF Watton
RAF No. 21 Squadron Bristol Blenheim RAF Watton 7 September 1941 21 September 1941 RAF Watton
RAF No. 111 Operational Training Unit Consolidated Liberator, Handley Page Halifax, Vickers Wellington The Bahamas 27 July 1945 1946 Disbanded
FAA Station Flight Various Formed June 1946 February 1973 Disbanded
FAA No. 766 Naval Air Squadron Fairey Firefly, Hawker Sea Fury, Supermarine Seafire, North American Harvard, Miles Martinet RNAS Rattray 4 August 1946 3 October 1953 RNAS Culdrose
FAA No. 764 Naval Air Squadron Supermarine Sea Fire, Fairey Firefly Re-formed 18 May 1953 23 September 1953 RNAS Yeovilton
FAA No. 804 Naval Air Squadron Hawker Sea Hawk RNAS Lee-on-Solent 30 October 1953 10 May 1955 HMS Eagle (R05)
FAA No. 736 Naval Air Squadron Hawker Sea Hawk, Supermarine Scimitar RNAS Culdrose 4 November 1953 26 March 1965 Disbanded
FAA No. 738 Naval Air Squadron Hawker Sea Fury, Hawker Sea Hawk, De Havilland Sea Venom RNAS Culdrose 9 November 1953 1 January 1964 RNAS Brawdy
FAA No. 802 Naval Air Squadron Hawker Sea Hawk RNAS Lee-on-Solent 23 November 1953 13 September 1956 RNAS Ford
FAA No. 759 Naval Air Squadron Supermarine Sea Fire, Hawker Sea Fury, Gloster Meteor, De Havilland Sea Vampire RNAS Culdrose 28 November 1953 12 October 1954 Disbanded
FAA No. 801 Naval Air Squadron Hawker Sea Hawk Re-formed 14 March 1955 10 October 1956 HMS Centaur (R06)
FAA No. 811 Naval Air Squadron Hawker Sea Hawk Re-formed 16 March 1955 16 May 1956 Disbanded
FAA No. 810 Naval Air Squadron Hawker Sea Hawk Re-formed 4 July 1955 6 August 1956 HMS Bulwark (R08)
FAA No. 804 Naval Air Squadron Hawker Sea Hawk Re-formed 6 February 1956 27 January 1958 HMS Ark Royal (R09)
FAA No. 803 Naval Air Squadron Hawker Sea Hawk Re-formed 14 January 1957 31 March 1958 Disbanded
FAA No. 806 Naval Air Squadron Hawker Sea Hawk Re-formed 14 January 1957 13 April 1959 HMS Eagle (R05)
FAA No. 764 Naval Air Squadron Hawker Sea Hawk, Westland Wyvern, Supermarine Scimitar, Hawker Hunter RNAS Ford 24 June 1957 27 July 1972 Disbanded
FAA No. 803 Naval Air Squadron Supermarine Scimitar Re-formed 3 June 1957 1 October 1966 Disbanded
FAA No. 807 Naval Air Squadron Supermarine Scimitar Re-formed 1 October 1958 15 May 1961 Disbanded
FAA No. 800 Naval Air Squadron Supermarine Scimitar Re-formed 1 July 1959 25 February 1964 Disbanded
FAA No. 804 Naval Air Squadron Supermarine Scimitar Re-formed 1 March 1960 15 September 1961 Disbanded
FAA No. 700Z Naval Air Squadron Blackburn Buccaneer Formed 7 March 1961 15 January 1963 Re-designated 809 NAS
FAA No. 801 Naval Air Squadron Blackburn Buccaneer Re-formed 17 July 1962 27 May 1965 Disbanded
FAA No. 809 Naval Air Squadron Blackburn Buccaneer Former 700Z NAS 15 January 1963 26 March 1965 Re-designated 736 NAS
FAA No. 800 Naval Air Squadron Blackburn Buccaneer Re-formed 18 March 1964 23 February 1972 Disbanded
FAA No. 800B Naval Air Squadron Supermarine Scimitar Formed 9 September 1964 25 May 1965 HMS Eagle (R05)
FAA No. 764B Naval Air Squadron Supermarine Scimitar Formed 26 Match 1965 23 November 1965 Disbanded
FAA No. 700B Naval Air Squadron Buccaneer Formed 9 April 1965 30 September 1965 Disbanded
FAA No. 750 Naval Air Squadron Sea Venom RAF Hal-Far, Malta 23 June 1965 26 September 1972 RNAS Culdrose
FAA No. 801 Naval Air Squadron Blackburn Buccaneer Re-formed 14 October 1965 21 July 1970 Disbanded
FAA No. 809 Naval Air Squadron Blackburn Buccaneer Re-formed 27 January 1966 5 October 1971 RAF Honington
FAA No. 803 Naval Air Squadron Blackburn Buccaneer Re-formed 3 July 1967 18 December 1969 Disbanded
FAA No. 849 Naval Air Squadron Fairey Gannet RNAS Brawdy 19 November 1970 15 December 1978 Disbanded
FAA No. 849D Naval Air Squadron Fariey Gannet RNAS Brawdy 9 December 1970 26 January 1972 Disbanded
FAA No. 849B Naval Air Squadron Fariey Gannet RAF Luqa, Malta 16 December 1970 15 December 1978 Disbanded
RAF Jaguar Conversion Team SEPECAT Jaguar Formed 30 May 1973 1 October 1974 Re-designated No. 226 OCU
RAF No. 8 Squadron Avro Shackleton AEW2 RAF Kinloss 14 August 1973 1 July 1991 RAF Waddington
RAF No. 54 Squadron SEPECAT Jaguar Re-formed 29 March 1974 15 August 1978 RAF Coltishall
RAF No. 226 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) SEPECAT Jaguar Former Jaguar Conversion Team 1 October 1974 November 1991 Re-designated as No. 16 (Reserve) Sqn
RAF No. 6 Squadron SEPECAT Jaguar Re-formed 2 October 1974 15 November 1974 RAF Coltishall
RAF No. 2 Tactical Weapons Unit Hawker Hunter, Hawker Siddeley Hawk Formed 31 July 1978 1 August 1980 RAF Chivenor
RAF No. 202 Squadron (D Flight) Westland Whirlwind HAR10, Westland Sea King HAR3 RAF Finningley August 1978 1 April 2015[74] Disbanded
RAF Regt. No. 48 Squadron (RAF Regiment) BAe Dynamics Rapier Anti-Aircraft Missile Re-formed December 1978 1 July 1996 Disbanded
RAuxAF No. 2622 RAuxAF Squadron Airfield Ground Defence Formed July 1979 Present
RAF No. 12 Squadron Blackburn Buccaneer RAF Honington 1 November 1980 1993 Disbanded
RAF No. 208 Squadron Blackburn Buccaneer RAF Honington July 1983 31 March 1994 Disbanded
RAF No. 237 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) Blackburn Buccaneer RAF Honington 18 October 1984 1 October 1991 Disbanded
RAF No. 16 (Reserve) Squadron SEPECAT Jaguar Former 226 OCU November 1991 20 July 2000[39] RAF Coltishall
TA No. 237 Field Squadron (Territorial Army) Airfield Damage Repair Formed 1992[19] 21 May 1999 Disbanded
RAF No. 12 Squadron Panavia Tornado GR1B/4 Re-formed 1 October 1993[19] 1 April 2014[55] Disbanded
RAF No. 15 (Reserve) Squadron Panavia Tornado GR1/4 Former 45(R) Squadron at RAF Marham 1 November 1993[36] 31 March 2017[63] Disbanded
RAF No. 617 Squadron Panavia Tornado GR1B/4 RAF Marham April 1994[19] 1 April 2014[55] Disbanded
RAF No. 14 Squadron Panavia Tornado GR4 RAF Brüggen, Germany January 2001[125] 1 June 2014[49] Disbanded
RAF Regt. No. 51 Squadron (RAF Regiment) Airfield Ground Defence RAF Honington June 2001[40] Present
RAF Moray Flight - No. 602 RAuxAF Squadron Maritime Operations Support Formed 2013[100] Present
RAF No. 6 Squadron Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 RAF Leuchars January 2015[57] Present
RAF No. 1 Squadron Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 RAF Leuchars September 2014[58] Present
RAF No. 2 Squadron Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 Re-formed 12 January 2015[59] Present
RAF RAF Lossiemouth Mountain Rescue Team Mountain Rescue Team Former RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team February 2015[102] Present
RAF No. 120 Squadron Boeing Poseidon MRA1 Re-formed 1 April 2018[126] Present
RAF No. 9 Squadron Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 Re-formed 1 April 2019[127] Present
RAF No. 201 Squadron Boeing Poseidon MRA1 Re-formed 2021[113] Present


Station badge and motto

RAF Lossiemouth's badge, awarded in May 1974, features a snowy owl facing forwards with expanded wings pointed downwards. The owl sits on two crossed claymore swords. The snowy owl can be found in Scotland and compared to humans have a well-developed ability to see at night. This symbolised the use radar for the airborne early warning mission carried out by No. 8 Squadron which was based at Lossiemouth when the badge was awarded. The owl also reflects the wisdom being provided by the Jaguar Operational Conversion Unit at the time. The claymores, a type of historic Scottish sword, represent the location of the station in Scotland and the potential for attack.[128]

The station's motto, Thoir an aire, translates from Scottish Gaelic as "Be careful".[129]

Community relations and media

The 2009 Lossiemouth Raft Race
The 2009 Lossiemouth Raft Race

The RAF and local community of Moray enjoy good relations, as demonstrated in 1992 by the station receiving the Freedom of Moray from the then Moray District Council. The freedom was granted in recognition of the role RAF Lossiemouth has played in the defence of the nation and in particular, the greatly valued contribution which has been made by the station to the day-to-day life of Moray.[130] The connections between RAF Lossiemouth and Moray were further strengthened on the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant between Moray Council, other community partners and the RAF in 2012 and again in 2016.[131] The co-operation was recognised in November 2016 when the Ministry of Defence awarded Moray Council an award for its supportive attitude towards the armed forces.[132] The RAF contributes to the local community in spending, employment and activities in the wider community. In 2010, Highlands and Islands Enterprise wrote that RAF Lossiemouth contributed £90.3m to the local economy and supported 3,370 jobs in Moray.[133]

The RAF organise the annual charity Lossiemouth Raft Race, in which military and civilian teams race home-made rafts along the River Lossie, adjacent to Lossiemouth's East Beach. The race was established in 1976 and is attended by thousands of onlookers.[134] A Family and Friends Day also takes place where military families and civilians with connections to the station are invited to a small air-show, held each May.[135] The RAF have also provided photo opportunities for aviation enthusiasts during exercises such as Joint Warrior.[136]

The RAF Lossiemouth station magazine is called the Lossie Lighthouse, in reference to the nearby Covesea Skerries Lighthouse. The magazine is distributed to station personnel, their families and the local community. It is also available online at the RAF Lossiemouth web page.[137]

RAF Lossiemouth has featured in several television and radio documentaries –

See also


  1. "Defence Estates Development Plan 2009 – Annex A". GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence. 3 July 2009. p. A3. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  2. "UK MIL AIP Lossiemouth AD-2 EGQS" (PDF). UK Military AIP. No. 1 Aeronautical Information Documents Unit. 31 December 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Hughes 1993, pp. 4–6.
  4. Smith 1983, p. 142.
  5. Hughes 1993, p. 6.
  6. Hughes 1993, pp. 6–7.
  7. Hughes 1993, p. 7.
  8. "Aberdeenshire Council Sites and Monuments Record – Moray – NJ26NW0045 – RAF Lossiemouth". Aberdeenshire Council. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  9. Hughes 1999, p. 110.
  10. Hughes 1993, p. 9.
  11. Hughes 1999, p. 111.
  12. Hughes 1993, p. 10.
  13. Hughes 1999, p. 112.
  14. Hughes 1993, p. 11.
  15. "Elgin Airfield | Canmore". canmore.org.uk. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  16. "Tirpitz, November 12 1944". Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  17. "Pupils get a true sense of history during tour of Moray RAF base". STV News. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  18. Hughes 1993, p. 13.
  19. "RAF Lossiemouth – History". RAF Lossiemouth. Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  20. Hughes 1999, p. 116.
  21. Hughes 1993, p. 15.
  22. Hughes 1993, p. 22.
  23. Hampshire, A. Cecil (1958). "Training the Naval Fighter Pilot". Flight. 1 August: 165–167.
  24. "German Naval Air Squadrons Commissioned". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  25. Hughes 1993, p. 16.
  26. "Up among the 700Z men". Flight International. 1 February 1962.
  27. Bishop and Chant 2004, pp. 65, 71–72, 74.
  28. Eric Brown, "Wings on My Sleeve", Airlife publications (1978), p. 272
  29. "New Commander of R.N.A.S Lossiemouth". The Glasgow Herald. 13 September 1967. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  30. "Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown – obituary". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  31. Hughes 1993, p. 19.
  32. Cope, Bill. "Gulf War Buccaneer Operations". Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  33. "RAF bases list during Operation Granby". Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 10 October 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  34. Gething, Michael J (March 1994). "The Buccaneer Bows Out: Valediction for the Sky Pirate". Air International. Key Publishing. 46 (3): 137–144. ISSN 0306-5634.
  35. Jefford et al. 2005, p. 115.
  36. "15(R) Squadron". Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 14 July 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  37. "RAF – News". Royal Air Force. 3 December 2007. Archived from the original on 7 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  38. "XV(R) Sqn". RAF Lossiemouth. Archived from the original on 29 April 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  39. "Jaguars high-tail it to new home". BBC News. 20 July 2000. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  40. "Other Units". RAF Lossiemouth. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  41. "RAF bases receive aircraft boost". BBC News. 17 November 2005. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  42. "Thousands join march to support RAF Lossiemouth". BBC News. 7 November 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  43. Harding, Thomas; Johnson, Simon (14 December 2010). "RAF Lossiemouth to be saved at expense of Leuchars". Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  44. "RAF Lossiemouth petition lands at 10 Downing Street". BBC News. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  45. "RAF to pull out of Leuchars as RAF Lossiemouth stays". BBC News. 18 July 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  46. "Threatened RAF Marham Tornado base to stay open". BBC News. 18 July 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  47. "RAF Lossiemouth loses Joint Strike Fighter bid". BBC News. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  48. "Defence Estate rationalisation update". GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  49. "Squadrons Disbanded". Royal Air Force. 1 March 2011. Archived from the original on 6 August 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  50. "RAF Lossiemouth CO makes a right old mess of former Navy building". STV News. 3 December 2012. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  51. "Lossiemouth's £24m facility proving a massive all-round hit". STV News. 11 June 2012. Archived from the original on 18 April 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  52. Mackenzie, Ruth (9 September 2014). "1 Squadron arrive at RAF Lossiemouth in formation". Press and Journal. Aberdeen Journals. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  53. Alexander, Michael (9 August 2014). "MoD quizzed on £87 million for RAF Lossiemouth". The Courier. DC Thomson & Co. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  54. Rollo, Sarah (21 March 2014). "Early glimpse of RAF Lossiemouth Typhoons". The Northern Scot. Scottish Provincial Press. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  55. "Farewell (for now) to 2 historic RAF squadrons". GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  56. Copping, Jasper (28 March 2014). "Rain on Dambusters parade cancels final flypast". Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  57. "Typhoons leave RAF Leuchars for Lossiemouth base". BBC News. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  58. "Typhoon aircraft relocate to RAF Lossiemouth". GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  59. "II (Army Co-operation) Squadron have begun initial operations at their home base of RAF Lossiemouth, following their stand-up as a Typhoon squadron earlier this year". RAF Lossiemouth. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  60. Pickering, Helen (1 February 2016). "Typhoon facilities at RAF Lossiemouth ready for take-off after £23m investment". Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 9 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  61. Lt Bergman and SSgt Murray (October 2015). "Runway Construction" (PDF). The Sapper. Regimental Headquarters, Royal Engineers, British Army: 280–283. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  62. No.1 AIDU 2016, p. AD 2 - EGQS - 1 - 15.
  63. Warnes, Alan (13 January 2017). "RAF draws down Tornado training". IHS Janes 360. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  64. Mackay, David (18 March 2017). "End of an era as Lossiemouth Tornados touch down for last time". Press and Journal. Aberdeen Journals. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  65. "Specialist engine facilities for Typhoon jets at RAF Lossiemouth". GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence and Defence Infrastructure Organisation. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  66. Liddle, Andrew (5 March 2016). "Boost for Lossiemouth as 400 personnel to arrive with new Typhoons". Press and Journal. Aberdeen Journals. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  67. "Military Aircraft Markings Update Number 165, February 2019" (PDF). Military Aircraft Markings. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  68. Royal Air Force (1 April 2019). "IX(B) Sqn Pennant". Facebook. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  69. "Tornado Squadrons Disbandment Parade". RAF. 14 March 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  70. "On its 101st birthday the Royal Air Force now has an additional squadron equipped with the Typhoon FGR4". Royal Air Force (Facebook). 1 April 2019. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  71. "Fourth Quick Reaction Alert Squadron for RAF Lossiemouth". Royal Air Force. 2 May 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  72. "Private bids plan for air rescue". BBC News. 9 May 2006. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  73. "Bristow Group to take over UK search and rescue from RAF". BBC News. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  74. Foote, Chris (7 April 2015). "End of an era as last Sea King rescue helicopter leaves Lossiemouth". STV News. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  75. Munro, Alastair (24 March 2015). "RAF Lossiemouth heroes' farewell party grounded". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  76. "Bid to home retired Sea King in Moray is successful". BBC News. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  77. "National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review" (PDF). UK Ministry of Defence. 23 November 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 November 2015.
  78. Hendry, Ben (14 July 2017). "New era dawns as RAF Lossiemouth forms Poseidon squadron". Press and Journal. Aberdeen Journals. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  79. "Royal Air Force 120 Squadron Standard Reinstatement". Royal Air Force. 27 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  80. "P-8A Poseidon Personnel Start Training". Royal Air Force. 1 February 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  81. "Defence Secretary launches £132m Scots sub-hunting aircraft home". Royal Air Force. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  82. "Poseidon facility handed over to the Ministry of Defence". Royal Air Force. 23 July 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  83. Dewar, Caitlyn (1 September 2021). "RAF Lossiemouth facility named in tribute to Battle of Atlantic heroes". The Herald. Herald & Times Group. Retrieved 6 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  84. "Next phase of runway resurfacing sees airfield closed at RAF Lossiemouth". Royal Air Force. 29 July 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  85. "RAF Poseidon MRA1 arrives at RAF Lossiemouth for the first time". Royal Air Force. 13 October 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  86. Hoyle, Craig (11 January 2022). "RAF completes Poseidon fleet, as ninth P-8A arrives in UK". Flight Global. DVV Media International. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  87. "201 Squadron". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  88. "Lossiemouth Airfield, Dispersal Area". Canmore. Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  89. "Lossiemouth Airfield, Dispersal Areas". Canmore. Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  90. "Lossiemouth Airfield, Pillbox". Canmore. Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  91. Allison, George (9 April 2018). "Typhoon Training Facility expanded at RAF Lossiemouth". UK Defence Journal. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  92. "Thales welcomes successful end to Afghan simulator support". Thales Group. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  93. Ross, Calum (21 March 2016). "Security fears over RAF Lossiemouth pipeline sell-off". Press and Journal. Aberdeen Journals. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  94. "Military Establishments". CarillionAmey. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  95. "Summary and government response to the consultation on criteria to determine the location of a UK spaceport" (PDF). gov.uk. Department of Transport. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  96. McArdle, Helen (3 March 2015). "Anger as Moray bases axed from spaceport shortlist, as Prestwick remains in the running". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  97. Mackay, David (12 August 2021). "RAF Lossiemouth: New £9million fire station to allow crews to get across base in just two minutes". Evening Express. Retrieved 12 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  98. "Welcome to RAF Lossiemouth". RAF Lossiemouth. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  99. "RAF Lossiemouth – Wings". RAF Lossiemouth. Archived from the original on 2 March 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  100. "602 Sqn – Moray Flight, Kipper Corner". Lossie Lighthouse. Forces and Corporate Publishing. April 2017. p. 40.
  101. "RAF Lossiemouth – Tain Range". RAF Lossiemouth. Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  102. "RAF Kinloss mountain rescue team 'to relocate'". BBC News. 8 July 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  103. "We follow in the footsteps of giants – RAF Lossiemouth Mrt are now based at RAF Lossiemouth at Last". heavywhalley. 21 February 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  104. "RAF Lossiemouth". Facebook. 8 July 2022. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
  105. Hendry, Ben (20 July 2017). "Meet the three-legged dog who rose through RAF ranks to become sergeant". Press and Journal. Aberdeen Journals. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  106. Henry, Ben (30 December 2015). "RAF Lossiemouth jets tackle terrorists in Syria". Press and Journal. Aberdeen Journals. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  107. "Updated-Royal Air Force Typhoons fly in to Estonia for NATO Baltic Air Policing". Royal Air Force. 13 May 2015. Archived from the original on 17 May 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  108. "RAF Lossiemouth fighter jets scrambled over Russian planes". BBC News. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  109. "2622 (Highland) Squadron History". RAF Lossiemouth. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  110. "RAF Lossiemouth – Other Units". RAF Lossiemouth. Archived from the original on 1 May 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  111. "RAF Police – Squadrons and Units". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  112. "Formal opening of the DACRE Regional Activity Centre at RAF Lossiemouth". RAF Lossiemouth. 16 October 2014. Archived from the original on 18 April 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  113. "RAF Lossiemouth". Royal Air Force. 7 March 2022. Retrieved 15 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  114. "Highland Wing, Air Training Corps". air-cadets-squadron-finder.org. Retrieved 15 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  115. Clark, Jonathan (12 June 2021). "RAF Lossiemouth personnel take part in annual RAFA Rides fundraiser". Northern Scot. Retrieved 15 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  116. Chorley, Flt Lt Dan Chorley (29 July 2020). "Next phase of runway resurfacing sees airfield closed at RAF Lossiemouth". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 15 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  117. "United Kingdom – Lossiemouth: Building construction work". Public Contracts Scotland. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  118. Williams, Simon, ed. (24 March 2017). "Lossiemouth nets £400 million Poseidon pledge". RAF News. No. 1415. High Wycombe. p. 13. ISSN 0035-8614.
  119. Snowdon, Ros (1 December 2016). "No Brexit blues for WYG as profits shoot up". The Yorkshire Post. Johnston Publishing. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  120. Burnie, Angus A (28 February 2017). "Screening Opinion Letter – 17/00008/SCN, Proposed development at RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, IV31 6SD". Moray Council. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  121. "Defence Secretary launches £132m Scots sub-hunting aircraft home". Royal Air Force. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  122. Mackay, David (19 December 2020). "RAF Lossiemouth: UK's new Wedgetail fleet destined for Moray". Press and Journal. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  123. Smith, Ruby (3 October 2022). "Turf cutting signals first step in preparing RAF Lossiemouth for arrival of UK E-7 Wedgetail fleet". Defence Equipment & Support. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  124. Bozyk, Piotr (10 October 2022). "RAF Lossiemouth Base preparing for arrival of UK E-7 Wedgetail fleet".
  125. "RAF Lossiemouth, Station History". RAF Lossiemouth. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  126. "Defence Secretary announces new Maritime Patrol Aircraft squadrons". GOV.UK. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  127. Royal Air Force (1 April 2019). "IX(B) Sqn Pennant". Facebook. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  128. "Lossiemouth". RAF Heraldry Trust. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  129. Pine 1983, p. 232.
  130. "Show of Community Support at Freedom of Moray Parade". RAF Lossiemouth. 9 November 2009. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  131. "A new covenant between Moray's community leaders and its local Armed Forces has been signed". Moray Council. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  132. Mackay, David (18 November 2016). "Moray Council's support of armed forces recognised with MoD award". Press and Journal. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  133. "Economic Impact of RAF Kinloss and RAF Lossiemouth Final Report to Highlands & Islands Enterprise". Highlands and Islands Enterprise. August 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  134. "Crowds flock to Lossie Raft Race". The Northern Scot. Scottish Provincial Press Ltd. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  135. Mackay, David (6 June 2016). "Red Arrows put on display for Lossiemouth crowds". Press and Journal. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  136. "Events". RAF Lossiemouth. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  137. "Royal Air Force Lossiemouth". Forces Publishing. Forces & Corporate Publishing. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  138. "Shackleton – The End of an Era (1984)". BFI. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  139. "The Old Grey Ladies of Lossiemouth". Youtube. STV. 1990. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  140. "Rescue (TV series)". BFI. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  141. "Gloria Hunniford at RAF Lossiemouth". Imperial War Museums. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  142. "The Highland fliers". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing. 13 July 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  143. "Ewan McGregor's brother – ex-fighter pilot Colin – slams Tory defence cuts". Mirror. MGN. 6 March 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2015.


На других языках

[de] RAF Lossiemouth

Die Royal Air Force Station Lossiemouth, kurz RAF Lossiemouth, ist ein Militärflugplatz der britischen Royal Air Force westlich von Lossiemouth in der Grafschaft Moray, Schottland. Die Basis ist eine der größten der RAF und neben RAF Coningsby einer von zwei Stützpunkten der Eurofighter Typhoon mit vier Staffeln (engl. Squadrons). Hinzu kommen die Flotten auf Boeing 737-Basis, die Boeing P-8A-Seefernaufklärer/U-Jagd-Flugzeuge und zukünftig auch die Boeing E-7A-Frühwarnflugzeuge.[1]
- [en] RAF Lossiemouth

[fr] RAF Lossiemouth

@media all and (max-width:720px){body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output *[class*="infobox"] table{display:table}body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output *[class*="infobox"] caption{display:table-caption}}

Текст в блоке "Читать" взят с сайта "Википедия" и доступен по лицензии Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike; в отдельных случаях могут действовать дополнительные условия.

Другой контент может иметь иную лицензию. Перед использованием материалов сайта WikiSort.org внимательно изучите правила лицензирования конкретных элементов наполнения сайта.

WikiSort.org - проект по пересортировке и дополнению контента Википедии