The deployment of new Nimrod MR4A aircraft to the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Kinloss base will be delayed until the end of 2010, according to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The Nimrod MR4A is due to replace the 30-year-old MR2, which was grounded in March 2010, a year ahead of schedule, according to the BBC.

The MoD had previously said that the new MR4A aircraft would be deployed at the Moray airbase during the UK summer.

Local MP and SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson said the delay in deploying the MR4As could undermine future rescues.

Robertson told the BBC that the Nimrods would provide enhanced support to search and rescue crews conducting operations at sea.