“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,” said Steve Burnell, managing director of Boeing Defence UK. “The new facilities will provide the required support and capacity to ensure the E-7’s successful introduction to service.”
The E-7 is the world’s most advanced, capable and reliable Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) platform, designed to simultaneously locate and track multiple airborne, maritime and surface targets, using the information it gathers to improve situational awareness and direct assets such as fighter jets and warships. There are now three aircraft on British soil, currently undergoing modification by a highly-skilled team of over 100 people at STS Aviation in Birmingham.
“This is another significant investment for Defence in Scotland, creating hundreds of jobs and bolstering the local economy,” said Alex Chalk KC, Minister for Defence Procurement. “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.”
The new facility will be erected alongside, and be an addition to, the Atlantic Building, a £100 million joint investment by Boeing and the Ministry of Defence and where the UK’s fleet of nine P-8A Poseidon aircraft is based.
Working with Boeing, McLaughlin & Harvey will mobilise a local construction workforce, which will see a blended team of more than 125 people employed on site at the project’s peak. Seven apprentice and trainee placements will also be created in areas of construction management, engineering, surveying and administration.
McLaughlin & Harvey are currently using five Scotland-based suppliers on the project with plans to engage many more as the project advances, creating a mix of graduate and trainee opportunities in specialist trades, including mechanical and electrical systems, joinery, metal work and engineering.
“Securing the main construction works for the Wedgetail facility is testament to the capabilities that McLaughlin & Harvey has to deliver projects of scale in the defence sector,” said Douglas McCusker, Construction Director at McLaughlin & Harvey. “We’re excited to get started on the build and to deliver for Boeing, RAF Lossiemouth and the local Moray community, through our associated project social value work.”
Multidisciplinary property and construction consultancy Ridge, and Boeing UK supplier, have designed the two new buildings that will support the RAF’s future AEW&C fleet; an Annex to the existing Atlantic Building where E-7 mission systems training will take place, and a new dedicated building for Royal Air Force line engineering.
“Building on the success of the newly constructed P-8 building at RAF Lossiemouth, we are proud to have been involved in this project for the E-7 since early 2019,” said Jolyon Price, Partner at Ridge. “Taking the buildings from RIBA stage 1 through to its construction phase, we have provided a full suite of design services to develop a solution that is flexible, sustainable, and a fantastic place to work.”
The E-7 technical infrastructure programme is expected to complete in 2025.