Showing posts with label E-7 Wedgetail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label E-7 Wedgetail. Show all posts

23 September, 2023

UK's RAF E-7 Wedgetail reaches another new milestone......

The Royal Air Force’s E-7 Wedgetail AEW1 Programme has reached another milestone with Officer Commanding VIII Squadron (Designate), Wing Commander Sarah McDonnell, qualifying on type.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Boeing Australia delivered the qualifying course, which culminated in Wing Commander McDonnell's graduation during the Summer 2023.

The course, a mix of ground school (class-based instruction and simulator training) and live flying on the RAAF E-7A Wedgetail, concluded with an end of course exercise, where the Wedgetail worked closely with F-35 Lightning.

Following graduation, Wg Cdr McDonnell will now maintain currency on the Wedgetail AEW1, as part of the RAF’s Seedcorn programme, until the arrival of the UK’s Wedgetail aircraft.

The Seedcorn programme, sees RAF technicians, and aircrew embedded within 2 Squadron at RAAF Williamtown, New South Wales. The symbiotic relationship assists the RAAF with the delivery of E-7A Wedgetail capability and will provide a vital core of experienced personnel to operate UK Wedgetail at RAF Lossiemouth.

Wing Commander McDonnell said  “This is another milestone in my journey towards commanding No 8 Squadron in the not-too-distant future, which is a real privilege. I absolutely love this new capability and the camaraderie I felt working as part of a crew again reminded me of my time on the E-3D Sentry.

I have learned so much from the RAAF team and I’m hugely grateful for their continued and unwavering support. I am extremely proud to be joining the team of UK qualified E-7 Wedgetail operators, but more importantly as a collective we cannot wait to return to the UK and start flying our own Wedgetail AEW1."

The E-7 Wedgetail is the most capable and effective airborne early warning and control platform in operation today and has the growth path to match the expected threat over the next 20 years. The RAF has purchased three Wedgetails, which are in various stages of modification by STS Aviation at Birmingham Airport. The handover of the first aircraft to the RAF is expected in late 2024. The Wedgetail AEW1 fleet will be based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

14 March, 2023

£83 million investment at RAF Lossiemouth creates more than 100 UK jobs

Scottish business McLaughlin & Harvey Construction Limited have been awarded a contract to build a new facility ready for the arrival of the UK E-7 Wedgetail fleet at RAF Lossiemouth.

The new cutting-edge 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. The move helps deliver on the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country.

Subcontracted under a £83 million contract awarded to Boeing Defence UK (BDUK) by UK Ministry of Defence, the investment will enable the build of a new 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.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Alex Chalk KC, said: "This is another significant investment for Defence in Scotland, creating hundreds of jobs and bolstering the local economy.  Scotland has a proud history as home to some our most critical defence assets, and this investment will enable the new fleet of cutting-edge E-7 aircraft to support that vital capability."

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.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:  "This new facility and arrival of the UK’s fleet of E-7 Wedgetail surveillance aircraft ensures that RAF Lossiemouth remains one of the most key military air stations in western Europe, vital to maintaining the security of the UK and our NATO allies.

Nothing is more important than defending our country, but this £83m contract award - and the creation of 125 jobs - is another great example of how UK defence investment is growing the economy and creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country."