STS Aviation Services will convert Boeing 737 airliners to E-7 Wedgetails for the Royal Air Force.
The conversion work – turning commercial 737 Next Generation airliners into a modern airborne battle management fleet – is expected to create more than 100 highly skilled jobs in the West Midlands: 90 with STS Aviation Services and 30 more with Boeing, say the firm in a press release.
The first two US-based aircraft have been stripped to their frames and those arrived in the UK this week.
— Boeing UK & Ireland (@BoeingUK) November 2, 2020
The work was previously announced for Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, the firm however have withdrawn from the project. Marshall remains a valued supplier to Boeing and the two companies will continue their partnership on other programmes like the P-8.
The Birmingham-based employees of STS Aviation Services will join the 50 Boeing employees already working on the Wedgetail programme throughout the UK, including at Bristol, Yeovil and RAF Waddington.
The new work will be done at the hangar formerly operated by Monarch Aircraft Engineering at Birmingham Airport.
“The Royal Air Force (RAF) announced in March 2019 a contract for five Wedgetail aircraft, guaranteeing the UK the world’s most effective AEW&C aircraft at a fixed price. The Wedgetail’s advanced radar and 10 state-of-the-art mission crew consoles can track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously, allowing crews to direct offensive and defensive forces while maintaining continuous surveillance of an operational area.
The Wedgetail is a proven aircraft that is currently in service around the world, including by Royal Australian Air Force, which used the aircraft on operations in the battle against Daesh in Iraq and Syria. It has been continuously improved since its inception, and it is the most capable aircraft of its type.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with STS Aviation Services in Birmingham on the Wedgetail,” said Anna Keeling, managing director of Boeing Defence UK.