Stuart Andrew, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, has revealed that Final assembly of the E-7 aircraft and radar combination will be undertaken in the UK.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson recently announced that the Ministry of Defence is in discussion with Boeing about the potential for the E-7 Wedgetail aircraft to replace the current Sentry fleet.
Stuart Andrew recently said in response to a parliamentary question:
“Final assembly of the E-7 aircraft and radar combination would be undertaken in the UK and Boeing have confirmed that it intends to use the same facility to meet any future E-7 sales opportunities for other customers. Through-life, we anticipate that support and training would be undertaken within the UK, directly leading to UK jobs.”
The E-7 Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) System is able to fly for long periods of time and manage the battlespace from the sky, providing situational awareness and tracking multiple airborne and maritime targets at the same time. It then uses the information it gathers to direct other assets like fighter jets and warships. It has already been proven on operations in the battle against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
Further discussions are set to take place before any investment decision is made. If selected, UK industry will be involved significantly with the programme, from modification work to through life support.