RAF Waddington's runway to get £35m upgrade

Rivet Joint aircraft arriving at RAF Waddington Image copyright MOD
Image caption It is the first major upgrade at the RAF base since the 1960s

More than £35m is to be spent on rebuilding and lengthening the runway at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the investment would extend the runway's operational life by a further 25 years.

It said it was vital that the base, which is the "eyes and ears" of the UK's armed forces, continued to provide surveillance and reconnaissance in support of military operations.

Some improvements will also be made to facilities on the site.

RAF Waddington uses a range of airborne intelligence systems, including the Boeing Rivet Joint intelligence aircraft, which is due to enter service later this year.

Station commander Rich Barrow said: "The existing 9,000ft-long runway has reached the end of its lifespan.

"For RAF Waddington to continue to deliver on its mission the runway infrastructure must be modified to support our world class aircraft, and our highly qualified pilots and ground staff."

Image copyright MOD
Image caption Rivet Joint will routinely be crewed by 24 people when it enters service later this year
Image copyright PA
Image caption The Sentinel spy plane is a modified jet which uses radar to create accurate real-time images of what is happening on the ground

It is the first major upgrade at the base since the 1960s.

Work starts in July and is expected to be completed by late summer 2015.

During the rebuild, aircraft will be temporarily relocated to other bases across the county.

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