Royal Air Force aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth have launched the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) for the first time since the Moray base took on the role of defending the UK’s Northern airspace. Typhoon jets were scrambled to identify aircraft in international airspace. The aircraft, identified as Russian military ‘Bears’, did not enter UK airspace.
RAF Lossiemouth’s Station Commander, Group Captain Mark Chappell, said:
“This first successful launch for QRA North has been what all of the hard work by RAF Leuchars and RAF Lossiemouth personnel over recent months has been for.
“The relocation of two Typhoon squadrons was a significant challenge, one that was met by our whole team. The many months of preparation and infrastructure improvements have made us absolutely ready for this launch, and shows we are in the best position to provide the service to the United Kingdom that the Royal Air Force was primarily created for – that is, the protection of our airspace.”
Royal Air Force Lossiemouth began a new era in its history on the 1st of September when it assumed the provision of what the RAF calls the ‘Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North’ task for the United Kingdom.
The role is carried out by crews from 6 Squadron. The pilot of the first launch said:
“It was an honour to be part of what is a milestone in the history of RAF Lossiemouth. With the move of Quick Reaction Alert from Leuchars to Lossiemouth, it has been a huge ask of many personnel. The fact that we had a flawless scramble and intercept of two Russian Bears was a testament to the hard work and commitment of all personnel involved.
“A very proud moment, not just for the pilots who did the intercept but the engineering crews who did a fantastic job, as well as many other station personnel involved in this constant commitment.”