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January 30, 2018updated 31 Jan 2018 2:00pm

UK RAF to open new radar head facility in Scotland

The British Royal Air Force is set to soon start operating its new remote radar head facility, located at Saxa Vord, Unst, Shetland, Scotland.

The British Royal Air Force is set to soon start operating its new remote radar head facility, located at Saxa Vord, Unst, Shetland, Scotland.

The radar will enhance the RAF and Nato’s understanding of the airspace in the north of the UK and across the Norwegian Sea while enabling tracking of unidentified military or civilian aircraft.

This, in turn, will help improve and safeguard the sovereign capability of the country at a time of enhanced military activity from Russia.

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “We will always protect our skies from Russian aggression.

“This radar is a vital part of the UK’s defences as we react to intensifying global threats and reinforce our ability to tackle them.

“Russia’s actions are not limited to Europe’s eastern borders – the threat to British livelihoods is severe and real.”

Once operational, the £10m Saxa Vord radar facility is expected to offer key information on aircraft movements to the north of the UK.

The unit will help support civil air traffic control and also feed the nationwide Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) operation, which allows for policing international and the UK airspace from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray and RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. The radar will also help support civil air traffic control.

“The £10m Saxa Vord radar facility is expected to offer major information on aircraft movements to the north of the UK.”

Air Staff chief marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “The radar system at Saxa Vord is an important part of ensuring that the RAF can fully protect both the UK’s airspace and that of our Nato allies, in the face of increasing pressure from Russia.”

The UK Ministry of Defence’s procurement organisation, Defence, Equipment and Support, has carried out the redevelopment of the site, in addition to providing latest infrastructure and capability for the airforce.

The new radar head facility will be operated remotely by the RAF personnel.

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