in Defence / Events

Defence Minister salutes 10 years of Sentinel at Broughton

Posted 4 September 2018 · Add Comment

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew celebrated North Wales’ decade of service keeping the UK and its allies safe, visiting the home of the Sentinel surveillance aircraft at Raytheon UK’s facility in Broughton.

Since RAF V(AC) Squadron flew the first operational Sentinel R.Mk 1 mission in November 2008, Sentinel has been on constant deployment supporting the UK armed forces and international coalitions.

Sentinel has recently achieved over 30,000 operational flying hours supporting deployments ranging from international coalition peacekeeping support to civil missions, such as mapping flooding in the UK in 2014, to aid relief efforts. Broughton also supports the Shadow R1 intelligence aircraft.

The investment in Sentinel and Shadow has created a hub of high end Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability in North Wales supporting highly skilled aerospace engineering jobs in Broughton and RAF Waddington. Raytheon’s economic impact from the Broughton site and the procurement spending of Raytheon Company within Wales was £40million last year, supporting 450 jobs in the supply chain, in addition to 283 highly skilled engineers and technicians  employed directly in Broughton and a further 126 employed at RAF Waddington supporting both platforms.

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “The Sentinel has proved its enormous worth time and time again, from tracking terrorists in Syria and Iraq, to helping provide overseas aid and even mapping floods here in the UK. The fact it has now spent over 30,000 hours on operations not only demonstrates how the RAF is working around the clock to put it to use on behalf of the country, but is a testament to its home here in North Wales. The workers here in Broughton should be extremely proud of the fantastic work they are doing to ensure this ‘eye-in-the-sky’ continues to collect crucial intelligence so our Forces can keep us safe”

Hundreds of highly skilled aircraft engineers and systems integrators have been involved in building and delivering the most advanced systems in airborne solutions and radar to the MOD. Since 2016, the workforce has grown by 44% to include a new wave of engineering apprentices and graduates. Raytheon’s partnership with Deeside college and the supply chain of niche engineering companies in the region has ensured that this part of North Wales is a regionally important cluster for the future of military aerospace.

Richard Daniel, CEO of Raytheon UK, said: “Broughton is a leading centre of ISR capability in the UK and has huge potential for growth in the future, supporting economic development and high quality jobs across North Wales.”


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