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RAF reveals names of Lossiemouth spy plane squadrons

The P8 Poseidons will protect the Royal Navy's Trident nuclear submarines.

P8 Poseidon: Lossiemouth getting £400m upgrade for new planes (file pic).
P8 Poseidon: Lossiemouth getting £400m upgrade for new planes (file pic). © Chris Milne

The RAF has revealed the names of the squadrons which will fly Lossiemouth's new fleet of submarine-hunting spy planes.

The P-8A Poseidons will protect the Royal Navy's Trident nuclear submarines and carry out intelligence-gathering operations.

RAF Lossiemouth in Moray is getting a £400m upgrade to accommodate the warplanes.

On Thursday, defence secretary Michael Fallon announced the names of the first squadrons to fly the P8s at the annual Air Power Conference in London.

201 Squadron is named after one of the RAF's oldest formations, while 120 Squadron has been named in honour of the air force's top submarine hunters during the Second World War.

Fallon said: "Our nine new Poseidon aircraft are part of our plan to monitor and deal with increased threats to our country.

"They can operate at long range without refuelling and have the endurance to carry out high and low-level airborne maritime and overland surveillance for extended periods, helping keep us safe.

"The P-8A aircraft will allow us to work more closely with our allies, improve our surveillance coverage and will provide value for taxpayers' money."

The P8s will replace the RAF's fleet of Nimrod surveillance aircraft, which were based at RAF Kinloss until 2010. The first aircraft are expected to arrive in the UK in 2020.

Boeing intends to build a £100m facility in the UK support them, doubling the number of people it employs to around 4000.

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