Turf-cutting ceremony at RAF Lossiemouth signals the beginning of work to prepare the ground for a new facility to house the UK’s E-7 Wedgetail fleet.
Boeing, McLaughlin & Harvey and Ministry of Defence leaders marked the beginning of work on a new facility to house the E-7 Wedgetail fleet with a turf-cutting ceremony at RAF Lossiemouth.
The ceremony was held to mark the first shovel in the soil that will prepare the ground for the construction of a new facility built to support the UK’s E-7 Wedgetail fleet that will be based at RAF Lossiemouth.
Group Captain Simon Young, E-7 Wedgetail Delivery Team Leader at DE&S, the procurement arm of the UK Ministry of Defence, said: “This important milestone in the E-7 technical infrastructure programme recognises the hard work and successful collaborative working demonstrated by the combined DE&S, Air Command and industry team.”
Working with Boeing, McLaughlin & Harvey has mobilised a local team to start the enabling works on-site, which will involve the development of the construction site compound at RAF Lossiemouth prior to significant groundworks starting, including diversion of utilities, ground levelling and preparatory piling.
Douglas McCusker, Construction Director at McLaughlin & Harvey said: “The project has very much been one of trust, collaboration and cooperation throughout the pre-construction period and we are incredibly proud to be working with both Boeing and the RAF on this important project. We will draw upon our previous aviation and defence sector expertise to deliver the required infrastructure with no disruption to the ongoing base activities.”
The new facility will be erected alongside, and be an addition to, the recently completed 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. The P-8A Poseidon and E-7 Wedgetail are both military derivatives of Boeing’s Next-Generation 737.
Operating both fleets from the same location will further harness RAF Lossiemouth’s strategic location and take advantage of the new state-of-the-art facility. It is also expected to support hundreds of jobs, providing a boost to the local economy and supply chain.
More than 200 Boeing employees, including apprentices and graduates, will be located at RAF Lossiemouth focused on maintenance, training and support.
Ian Vett, Director of the UK E-7 Programme, Boeing said: “Today’s turf-cutting ceremony represents Boeing’s growing presence and investment at RAF Lossiemouth and across the Moray region. We are extremely proud of the Boeing-built Atlantic Building and look forward to starting the work that will see the expansion of the facility to ensure the required capacity and support is in place for the E-7 Wedgetail fleet’s introduction to service.”
Following the enabling works phase, the main construction phase is scheduled to begin in spring 2023.