skip to main content

UK cites contractor performance and other issues for Wedgetail delay

Two of three 737 NG airframes undergoing conversion to Wedgetail AEW1 platforms by STS Aviation Services in Birmingham, England. The MoD has cited contractor performance and other issues behind delays to the programme. (Boeing)

The United Kingdom has spelt out the causes for the delay to the delivery schedule of the Boeing E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning Mk1 (AEW1) aircraft.

Answering questions in the House of Commons on 18 October, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence (MoD), James Cartlidge, said the delay had been caused by poor contractor performance and other factors.

“There have been some delays to the aircraft delivery schedule, due to contractor performance and a combination of shortages in materials, parts, and skills, which are being felt across the global aviation industry,” Cartlidge said. “Additionally, the contractor has underestimated the complex and increased assurance activity required to enable flight certification following Boeing 737 MAX aircraft accident investigations. We are working closely with Boeing to minimise the adverse impact of these challenges.”

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is to receive three Wedgetail AEW1 aircraft that were scheduled to be delivered in 2023. These are now in various stages of conversion by STS Aviation Services in the UK, with delivery to the RAF not now to commence until 2024.

STS Aviation Services deferred comment on the claim of subpar contractor performance being linked to delays to Boeing, which told Janes, “We defer to the Ministry of Defence for any queries related to the UK E-7 programme.”

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...