Squadron to be reformed at RAF Leuchars

A Typhoon jet fighter.
A Typhoon jet fighter.
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Despite being earmarked for closure in the strategic defence review, RAF Leuchars will become the new home of another Typhoon squadron later this year.

The RAF announced this week that the fourth front line Typhoon squadron, Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron, will stand up at the base in September.

The squadron will reform officially at the Jubilee Airshow on September 15 to become the second Typhoon squadron based at Leuchars after 6 Squadron was stood up in 2010.

HISTORY

1 Squadron has a distinguished history and the typhoon will join iconic aircraft like the Hurricane and Harrier that they have flown.

Welcoming the announcement, Air Commodore Gavin Parker, station commander at RAF Leuchars, said: “2012 is the 100th anniversary of the creation of 1(F) Squadron.

“I can think of no better way to celebrate in this Diamond Jubilee year, than to return the squadron to front line status, equipped with Typhoon, an aircraft that is central to the RAF’s current and future combat air capabilities.

“As we prepare to transition the Typhoon Force in Scotland to RAF Lossiemouth over the next few years, having two squadrons will improve our resilience and increase our flying capacity, allowing us to maximise our training opportunities, whilst meeting our operational commitments.

“Since standing up 6 Squadron in 2010, we have seen Typhoon come of age as a multi-role aircraft maintaining the defence of UK sovereign airspace through the Quick Reaction Alert role, both here and in the Falkland Islands, as well as conducting air-to-air and air-to-surface sorties to protect the civilian population of Libya during Operation Ellamy.”

SUITABILITY

North East Fife MP, Sir Menzies Campbell, said: “The build up of the second Typhoon Squadron at Leuchars underlines its continuing suitability for the defence of the top half of the United Kingdom.

“RAF Leuchars is still in the right place at the right time and doing the right job.

“If it ain’t broke, we don’t need to fix it.”

North East Fife MSP, Rod Campbell, added: “Whilst we continue to await the belated outcome of the Army 2020 Review by General Carter, the UK Government must ensure the RAF retains a presence in Leuchars until the army is ready to move in.

“Clearly it is in no-one’s interest for there to be a vacuum.”