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RAF Lossiemouth

Defence written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Menzies Campbell Menzies Campbell Liberal Democrat, North East Fife

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence

(1) pursuant to the answer of 9 November 2011, Official Report, column 368W, on RAF Lossiemouth, European Fighter Aircraft, for what period of time RAF Lossiemouth undertook the Quick Reaction Alert North role when resurfacing work was undertaken at RAF Leuchars; and on how many occasions aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth were (a) scrambled and (b) launched in that role during that period;

(2) on how many occasions aircraft from RAF Leuchars have responded to incidents which (a) involved and (b) did not involve aircraft from foreign powers in the last 10 years.

Photo of Nick Harvey Nick Harvey The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The choice of the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) base or bases used for each incident is at the discretion of the tactical commander and forms part of the deterrent value of our QRA posture. Therefore, it is departmental policy only to release limited statistics relating to QRA launches.

QRA statistics are no longer held for incidents prior to September 2006. All launches of the QRA force from September 2006 were either for Russian military aviation (Bear or Blackjack aircraft) which approached the NATO Air Policing Area (for which the UK has responsibility) or aircraft within UK civil airspace that were causing concern to air traffic controllers. The aircraft that were causing concern to civil controllers were a range of aircraft types registered in a range of countries, including the UK.

The number of days on which RAF QRA aircraft have been launched from all QRA bases since September 2006 is as follows:

Number of days QRA launched Number
2006 (since September) 2
2007 24
2008 15
2009 14
2010 14
2011 18

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