A new facility ready for the arrival of the UK E-7 Wedgetail fleet at RAF Lossiemouth will be built under an £83 million contract.
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.
Creating 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 DE&S with Boeing Defence UK (BDUK), BDUK has subcontracted McLaughlin & Harvey Construction Limited in Glasgow to undertake the build. It enables the build of a synthetic training facility, 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 arrival of Wedgetail further bolsters the reputation of Lossiemouth which enjoys a strategic location and state-of-the-art facilities.
Air Commodore Alex Hicks, the Wedgetail programme lead for the RAF, said:
“The contract signing for the construction of the UK Wedgetail operating facility is a significant achievement, and I would like to thank everyone involved in making it happen. The facility is a critical enabler for the Wedgetail capability allowing the full potential of the aircraft to be realised. It will also play a significant role in providing industrial resilience to the local community and wider Scotland.
The latest contract follows on from the enabling works contract signed in September 2022 with the same company, which included diversion of utilities, ground levelling and preparatory piling.
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.
Steve Burnell, managing director of Boeing Defence UK said:
“Boeing is no stranger to delivering projects of this magnitude and complexity in Scotland, and we’re especially proud to be once again collaborating with our local supply chain to help create and sustain new jobs in the region.”