Published 11 April 2024

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More than 550 tonnes of steel have been supplied by a company local to RAF Lossiemouth as facilities for supporting the UK’s E-7 Wedgetail fleet continue to take shape.

DE&S placed a £83 million contract in March 2023 with Boeing Defence UK who is working with its local supplier McLaughlin & Harvey to build the facilities which are situated alongside the Atlantic Building, from which the UK’s fleet of nine Poseidon MRA Mk1 aircraft already operate.

And Simmers Contracts, a family-business from Moray, just 25 miles from Lossiemouth has been sub-contracted to supply 7,000m2 of cladding and 556 tonnes of steel for building the base frame structure of the Wedgetail Line Engineering Squadron building for routine maintenance and aircraft upgrades and a second building, dedicated to mission systems training.

The E-7 Wedgetail programme is supporting hundreds of jobs in the region, boosting the local supply chain and economy and confirms UK Government’s commitment to investing in Scotland.

Lyndon Jones, E-7 Wedgetail Infrastructure lead at DE&S said:

“The E-7 programme is critical, not only in the development of a capability that will equip our Armed Forces with a competitive edge to protect the nation but also by providing UK prosperity.”

As the world’s most advanced, capable and reliable Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) platform, the E-7 will provide intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance for the RAF.

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.

Steve Burnell, managing director of Boeing Defence UK said:

“Boeing leverages the strength of its local supply chain to support the communities where we are proud to live and work.

“Through our relationship with Mclaughlin & Harvey, we are pleased to have Simmers Contracts play a pivotal role in the construction of the new facilities for the UK’s E-7 Wedgetail aircraft, as we continue to work with the RAF to prepare the fleet’s entry into service.”

The arrival of Wedgetail further bolsters the reputation of Lossiemouth which enjoys a strategic location and state-of-the-art facilities.

The E-7 Wedgetail infrastructure program is expected to complete early in 2025.