Boeing Delivers New Home for RAF P-8A Poseidon Force
- The structure is a £100 million joint investment by Boeing and the MOD
- New facility will generate over 200 highly skilled Boeing jobs in support of the RAF’s Maritime Patrol capability
LOSSIEMOUTH, July 23, 2020 - Boeing [NYSE: BA] has successfully handed over the new home for the Royal Air Force’s P-8A Poseidon fleet at RAF Lossiemouth to Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the contracting arm of the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
The hangar bay of the structure, known as the Strategic Facility, can hold three of the nine submarine-hunting Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) the RAF will have in its fleet, as well as accommodation for two squadrons, and training and mission support facilities, including state-of-the art simulators to be delivered later this summer.
“The new Poseidon fleet will reassert the UK in the maritime patrol arena. It will play an invaluable role in our national security for decades to come,” said Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin MP. “The state-of-the-art Lossiemouth facility provides the fleet with an ideal base while helping to create and sustain jobs in Scotland.”
The £100 million facility – a joint investment by Boeing and the MOD – was designed and built by Boeing and its construction partner Robertson, headquartered in nearby Elgin, and 300 people were employed on site at the project’s peak.
“The Strategic Facility at RAF Lossiemouth is going to be an outstanding working environment optimised to support the RAF’s new Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft. But more than that, it is going to be the home of our new capability where our crews, engineers, mission support staff and contractors will work together to deliver this essential Defence output,” said Air Commodore Rich Barrow, Assistant Chief of Staff Capability Delivery C2ISR, Air. “Delivered by DE&S and Boeing, the project has progressed at impressive speed and will deliver exactly what we need in time to meet the arrival of our new aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth in the autumn.”
Besides the jobs created during construction, about 470 additional personnel will be based at RAF Lossiemouth in support of the P-8A, taking its total to around 2,200. Of those, Boeing expects to have more than 200 employees focused on maintenance, training and support at RAF Lossiemouth when the facility is fully operational later this year.
“We are incredibly proud to be handing over this state-of-the-art facility to DE&S after two years of hard work and investment, and we are excited to begin a new phase of Boeing’s partnership at RAF Lossiemouth,” said Anna Keeling, managing director of Boeing Defence UK. “It’s a further sign of our commitment to local presence in the UK, skilled job creation as well as UK supplier engagement, and we could not have done it without the support of our Morayshire community partners, both on and off base.”
The first P-8A, named Pride of Moray, touched down on UK soil in February this year. It was closely followed by the second, named City of Elgin, a month later. Both aircraft are currently flying from nearby Kinloss Airfield until the facility and runway are formally opened later this year.
Since then, two more P-8A aircraft have been painted at Boeing’s Renton site in the United States, including the Terence Bulloch, named after one of the most decorated RAF pilots in Coastal Command during the Second World War.
All nine of the RAF’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft, based on the Next-Generation 737, are expected to be in the UK by the end of 2021.
“The new P-8A Strategic Facility at RAF Lossiemouth is a great example of successful delivery through co-operative working,” said Michelle Sanders, DE&S delivery team leader. “DE&S, Boeing Defence UK and Robertson have worked closely since the project began in early 2018 and here we are, just over two years later, taking delivery of this splendid new building. The focus of our work now shifts to preparing it for handover to the RAF later this year.”
The handover is a sign of Boeing’s broader commitment to the region outlined in the Boeing Scotland Alliance, a strategic agreement between Boeing and Scottish Enterprise signed earlier this year, which will explore opportunities to work together in Scotland, with the aim of doubling Boeing’s supply chain and creating 200 new quality jobs in the next five years.
“Robertson is no stranger to delivering projects of this magnitude and complexity, but we’re especially proud of the RAF Lossiemouth Strategic Facility, which further underpins our capability in the defence sector,” said Elliot Robertson, chief executive officer, Robertson Group. “Not only was it an opportunity for us to collaborate closely with Boeing and provide unrivalled local expertise and knowledge, but further illustrates how our delivery teams find solutions to the many challenges that are set through the design process to meet exacting and specific requirements. We’re looking forward to continuing working with our partners at RAF Lossiemouth and welcoming the rest of the P8-A fleet.”
About Boeing in the United Kingdom
Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defence, space and security systems, and global services. The company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries. Boeing employs more than 150,000 people worldwide and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Boeing has a UK workforce of 2,500 direct employees across the country and spends £2 billion a year in the UK supply chain. In 2018 Boeing opened its first European manufacturing facility in Sheffield as the latest investment in an 80 year partnership with the UK. For more information visit www.boeing.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @BoeingUK.