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US to upgrade Lajes to support Poseidon MMA

A US Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft takes off from Lajes Field in the Azores. The base provides a stopping point for aircraft to commute back and forth between the US and Europe and is to be upgraded to support P-8A operations, though it is not clear if this describes the current transient flights or represents a plan to launch anti-submarine warfare missions from the islands. (DVIDS)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is to upgrade Lajes Field in the Azores to support the Boeing P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft (MMA).

Disclosed in a contract solicitation posted on the US government procurement website,, on 9 January, the work is designed to support US Navy (USN) operations of the P-8A on the Portuguese island chain located in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

β€œThe purpose of this design build construction contract is to (1) provide for the complete renovation of Building 705 and associated support areas for aircraft operations functions; (2) provide new automatic aircraft post-flight Clear Water Rinse System Facility; and (3) repair approximately 282 square meters of existing paved area to provide a secure laydown area for outdoor storage and staging of equipment supporting the P-8A aircraft operations at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal,” the solicitation said.

Situated about 1,500 km from the coast of Portugal and around 5,000 km from the home of the USN's East Coast P-8A fleet based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville in Florida, Lajes Field boasts the largest flight line of any US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) facility, and is used as a transient point to commute back and forth between the US and Europe.

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