League concerns vindicated as unsafe aircraft is prematurely retired

The RAF is finally to ground the controversial Nimrod maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

The aircraft which has been the subject of several fatal accidents is now well over thirty years old. Following a critical safety assessment some years ago the Celtic League questioned its continued operation over the Celtic countries and its use of facilities at the Isle of Man airport for training purposes. The type was one of a number of aircraft the Celtic League accused the MOD of operating over the Celtic countries which were `well past their sell by dates’.

The Ministry of Defence eventually admitted a Nimrod aircraft involved in a fatal crash was not airworthy and subsequently other aircraft of the type were grounded.

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A replacement for the aircraft is not expected to enter service for several years and in the meantime a variety of fixed and rotary wing aircraft will undertake the search and rescue role.

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