NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Fears mount for RAF Lossiemouth future

Tornado at RAF Lossiemouth
Image caption RAF Lossiemouth in Moray is a base for Tornado aircraft

An MP is to seek "urgent clarification" from the UK government after leaked documents suggested RAF Lossiemouth would be run down over the next year.

The papers, seen by SNP member for Moray Angus Robertson, implied the base's Tornado aircraft could be transferred to a base in Norfolk.

The Ministry of Defence has said no final decision has been made.

The news comes after the government's defence review said neighbouring RAF Kinloss would shut.

There has been mounting speculation that all Tornado operations could be moved from Lossiemouth to RAF Marham, where engineering work for the aircraft is already based.

Mr Robertson said the document seemed to reflect internal MoD thinking that the fleet would be "centralised" at Marham by 31 October next year.

The same document also suggested that neighbouring RAF Kinloss would be placed into "care and maintenance" by March next year.

The Ministry of Defence said it did not comment on "leaked documents."

Moray's two RAF bases contribute more than £150m to the local economy annually and support about 5,700 jobs.

RAF Kinloss will close after ministers cancelled orders for the new Nimrod MRA4 surveillance aircraft.

It has been suggested that RAF Kinloss could be retained as a barracks for soldiers returning from Germany.

Defence sources have already said the troops would not arrive until about 2015 at the earliest.

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