Lincolnshire

Red Arrows moving to RAF Waddington from RAF Scampton

Red Arrows flying over RAF Scampton runway Image copyright MOD
Image caption RAF Scampton has been home to the Red Arrows since 2000

The Red Arrows will remain based in Lincolnshire after their current home of RAF Scampton closes, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed.

The aerobatic team - formed in 1964 - has been at RAF Scampton since 2000 but will move to RAF Waddington in 2022.

Nine pilots in the Red Arrows fly in their trademark diamond display in Hawk Jets, reaching speeds of up to 645mph.

The MoD announced in 2018 that RAF Scampton would close as a cost-saving measure.

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Media captionRed Arrows soar above Niagara Falls

When the closure was announced the MoD said it needed to sell about a third of its estate to make nearly £3bn of savings by 2040.

But this week the MoD said the move was part of plans to invest £4bn in its estate over the next 10 years. The largest unit at RAF Scampton - Air Control Centre - will relocate mainly to RAF Boulmer in Northumberland, with several bases still being considered for the Mobile Meteorological Unit.

RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire and RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire had been considered as potential new homes for the Red Arrows, but RAF Waddington - just 10 miles from Scampton - was identified as the best possible home.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Red Arrows have flown in 57 different countries

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: "The Red Arrows have a proud and prominent place in British culture and have long demonstrated the best of what the UK Armed Forces offer with their world-renowned skills, discipline and teamwork.

"I am delighted that they will be able to continue to practice their extraordinary aerobatic talents above RAF Scampton in their home county of Lincolnshire."

Image copyright Christopher Furlong
Image caption Since their formation in the 1960s the Red Arrows have flown almost 5,000 displays

The MoD said it would be exploring ways to preserve RAF Scampton's "rich history".

During World War Two, it was home to 617 Squadron, which famously took part in the Dambusters raids in 1943.

The nine Hawk jets of the Red Arrows were last seen in action on 8 May, marking VE Day by performing a flyover of the deserted streets of central London.

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