Military Capabilities

UK Royal Navy enhances Prestwick helicopter base

06 March 2020

Enhancements to the communications and other infrastructure at the UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) forward operating location at Prestwick International Airport in southwest Scotland are under way.

The work, described as “modest” by senior RN sources, is aimed at securing the long-term future of the site after the airport is sold to a private sector operator by the devolved Scottish government later this year.

The facility, formerly known as HMS Gannet, was home to RN search and rescue helicopters up to January 2016. It has since been used as a forward maintenance and operating location for RN AgustaWestland Merlin HM2 helicopters supporting the ‘Joint Warrior’ and ‘Perisher’ series of naval exercises around the west coast of Scotland, as well as participating in ‘Defence of the Clyde’ operations to protect the passage of Vanguard-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines to and from their home base in Faslane.

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