RM Condor
Near Arbroath, Angus in Scotland
The entrance to RM Condor
RM Condor is located in Angus
RM Condor
RM Condor
Shown within Angus
RM Condor is located in the United Kingdom
RM Condor
RM Condor
RM Condor (the United Kingdom)
Coordinates56°34′56″N 002°37′31″W / 56.58222°N 2.62528°W / 56.58222; -2.62528
TypeRoyal Marines base
Area201 hectares[1]
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
Operator Royal Navy
Controlled by Royal Marines
WebsiteRM Condor - Royal Navy
Site history
Built1938 (1938)
In use1938 – 1971 (Fleet Air Arm)
1971 – present (Royal Marines)
Garrison information
Lieutenant Colonel Innes Catton[2]
Garrison3 Commando Brigade
Occupants45 Commando Group
Airfield information
Elevation49 metres (161 ft) AMSL
Number Length and surface
00 50x50m Concrete

RM Condor is a large Royal Marines base located near Arbroath in East Angus, Scotland. The base also houses 7 (Sphinx) Battery Royal Artillery, part of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery.


The base was first constructed as a naval air station for the Royal Navys Fleet Air Arm in 1938, when it was known as Royal Naval Air Station Arbroath (RNAS Arbroath; or HMS Condor). It was opened on 19 June 1940. From the outset it was a training base, primarily involved in the training of naval aviators. A purpose-built 'aircraft carrier' sized landing area was constructed on the airfield and it, along with another similar facility at nearby East Haven, Angus, HMS Peewit was used to train aircrew in deck landing operations. In October, 1940, the base was attacked by Luftwaffe Heinkel He 111 bombers, operating from Norway, which resulted in minor damage (then valued at £6,000) being sustained to some Squadron buildings. Throughout the war years the base was additionally used as a rest area. Operational Squadrons from Royal Navy fleet and escort aircraft carriers would take it in turn to spend rest periods whilst their ships were undergoing maintenance at Scottish Naval ship repair facilities.[3]

Flying stopped in 1954 and the base became the home of the Royal Navy Aircraft Engineering Training School which had transferred from HMS Daedalus at Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire. It continued in this role until 1 April 1971 when the base became the home to 45 Commando Royal Marines, a part of 3 Commando Brigade.[4]

The base was thereafter known as RM Condor or Condor Barracks and remains an operational base to this day.[5]

A Better Defence Estate, published in November 2016, indicated that the Ministry of Defence would dispose of the airfield section of RM Condor by 2024.[6] In 2019, this decision was dropped, and the site will remain in use.[7]


The following units have been based here:[8]

  • M Flight 3 CDO BDE Air Sqn RM
  • Based units

    Units based at RM Condor.[10]


    The establishment is also home to the Royal Marines Cadets of Arbroath Division Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps.[11]

    Built heritage

    The redundant airfield control tower is a category C listed building. The three storey building is one of two surviving examples of this particular type of control tower, which features an ambulance and crash tender garage. The tower, which was listed in May 2006, is noted by Historic Environment Scotland as being important in terms of naval and Second World War history, as well as for its local significance.[12]

    The Captain's House, formerly known as 'Woodlands', dates from the early 19th century. The two-storey and basement Regency mansion was listed as category B in June 1971.[13]

    See also



    1. ^ "Defence Estates Development Plan (DEDP) 2009 - Annex A" (PDF). GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence. 3 July 2009. p. A-1. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
    2. ^ "Condor". Royal Navy. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
    3. ^ "Arbroath". Forgotten Airfields. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
    4. ^ "Plans for Arbroath's RM Condor marine base described as 'best of a bad deal'". The Courier. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
    5. ^ "RM Condor". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
    6. ^ "A Better Defence Estate" (PDF). GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence. 7 November 2016. p. 15. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
    7. ^ "Ministry of Defence urged to stop planned Scottish base closures". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
    8. ^ "Arbroath". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
    9. ^ Howard 2011, p. 62.
    10. ^ "Condor". Royal Navy. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
    11. ^ "Arbroath". Volunteer Cadet Corps. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
    12. ^ "Anugs, Arbroath, RM Condor, Control Tower (LB50470)". Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
    13. ^ "Captain's House, (Formerly Woodlands), Royal Naval Air Station". Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 22 April 2018.