Artist's impression of E7 Wedgetail aircraft 220319 CREDIT RAF.jpg
Aircraft

Wedgetail Aircraft To Be Based At RAF Lossiemouth

The first of the E-7 Wedgetail surveillance aircraft is expected to arrive in 2023.

Artist's impression of E7 Wedgetail aircraft 220319 CREDIT RAF.jpg

A new fleet of E-7 Wedgetail surveillance aircraft is to be based at RAF Lossiemouth.

Adapted from the Boeing 737 model, they can simultaneously track multiple targets in the air and at sea.

The Wedgetail has previously been used by the Australian Air Force Royal on operations against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

The E-7 Wedgetails will join the P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol fleet already operating at the Scottish base, which has seen a recent £75m runway upgrade as part of £400m improvements in total.

Minister of State for Defence, Baroness Goldie said: “Scotland’s proximity to the waters and skies of the North Atlantic is of crucial importance to the UK’s and NATO’s security – this is why important military bases such as HMNB Clyde and RAF Lossiemouth are located here.

“Defence’s latest decision to base the E-7 Wedgetail at RAF Lossiemouth demonstrates our commitment to investing in Scotland, and will complement and expand upon the success of Typhoon fast jet and submarine-hunting Poseidon operations.”

The first of the Wedgetails is expected to arrive in 2023, marking a return to RAF Lossiemouth for 8 Squadron, after an absence of 30 years.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack added: “The UK Government has invested £470m in RAF Lossiemouth over the past two years, including a new £100m strategic facility, housing the UK’s new fleet of nine submarine-hunting Poseidon P-8A maritime patrol aircraft, which has been built by Elgin-based Robertson.

E-7A Wedgetail from Royal Australian Air Force
An E-7A Wedgetail from the Royal Australian Air Force (Picture: US Dept of Defense).

Mr Jack added: “Indeed this firm is also building the new shipbuilding hall for the Type 31 Frigate programme at Rosyth in Fife demonstrating just one of the many ways that UK Defence benefits Scottish business.

“The arrival of the Wedgetail capability in Scotland will provide clear additional security and economic benefits to Scotland.

“The Poseidon programme brought £470m UK Government investment in the coastal RAF base, creating and sustaining jobs and boosting the local economy.

“It is anticipated that basing the Wedgetail fleet will bring further investment and civilian and military jobs to Moray.”

RAF Lossiemouth is already home to half of the UK’s operational Typhoon fast jet fleet.

Cover image: Artist's impression of E7 Wedgetail aircraft (Picture: RAF).