Image courtesy DE&S
A new facility is being built at RAF Lossiemouth, located in north-east Scotland, under a contract from the UK Government worth £83 million to house the UK E-7 Wedgetail fleet.
The surveillance fleet will be housed in infrastructure at the Scottish base sitting alongside the recently completed Atlantic Building, from which the UK’s fleet of nine Poseidon MRA Mk1 aircraft already operate.
The project will help create 125 jobs in the local area, including seven new trainee positions in engineering and construction, the investment will boost the local economy and supporting supply chain, reaffirming the UK Government’s commitment to investing in Scotland.
Under an £83 million contract placed by Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) with Boeing Defence UK (BDUK), BDUK has subcontracted McLaughlin & Harvey Construction in Glasgow to undertake the build. It enables the build of a synthetic training facillty and a second unit the size of an Olympic swimming pool where combined Poseidon and Wedgetail engineering will be delivered by serving RAF personnel, additional accommodation and external car park works.
The original £83million contract, under which the work will take place, was placed by the E-7 Wedgetail delivery team at DE&S.
Lyndon Jones, E-7 Wedgetail Infrastructure lead at DE&S, said: “We are proud to have facilitated this major milestone that will allow the co-location of the Wedgetail aircraft with the Poseidon fleet, drawing together the various supporting functions to drive efficiencies across the enterprise.”
The Wedgetail is capable of simultaneously tracking multiple airborne and maritime targets, using the information it gathers to improve situational awareness and direct assets such as fighter jets and warships. The aircraft has previously been used by the Royal Australian Air Force on operations against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
The facilities will be ready for the arrival of the first aircraft Wedgetail aircraft, marking a return to RAF Lossiemouth for 8 Squadron after an absence of 30 years.