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Forward Composites and Arnold Wragg in supply chain agreement for the watchkeeper

Forward Composites will utilise the latest and most advanced machining techniques available from Arnold Wragg to manufacture precision components for the prestigious ‘Watchkeeper’ programme.

Watchkeeper is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for all weather surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance/intelligence. The watchkeeper is a UK manufacturing programme set up by joint venture between Thales and Elbit Systems. Forward Composites were recently successful in securing new business manufacturing parts for this programme.

Expertise and experience within a vast range of industries including Aerospace, Defense, Automotive and F1, coupled with a state of the art premises in Cambridgeshire, (previously Lola Composites) gives this new business a better than ideal trading platform and played a big part in impressing their new customers when securing this work.

On-site facilities include; a new manufacturing area currently 50,000 ft2, 6 CAD stations running Catia V5, a large 5 axis milling machine (4.5m X, 1.78m Y and 1.4m Z), 2 large autoclaves, ovens, clean rooms a spray both and CMM inspection equipment.

Managing Director Paul Jackson is a house-hold name within the industry and has 25 years experience. Starting his career as an apprentice Patternmaker, Paul is now at the helm of this new enterprise.

In addition to Paul, colleague Ed Collings assumes the role of Technical Director with the business. Ed has a great head for engineering and will deliver on his promise to supply state of the art, market leading turn key solutions for customers of Forward Composites.

Paul Jackson explains:

Forward Composites have only been trading 4 months and have already exceeded expectations. There is confidence from our customers, and we are up to 70 staff to support the orders won. We have had a great start winning the Watchkeeper UAV programme, as well as a number of other significant projects.

We recognised at the start of this venture that its success would depend upon the expertise and professionalism of our staff. We now have a workforce with the right blend of skills and experience to deliver high quality products and offer an excellent service to our customers. We offer end to end capability. There is a real buzz throughout the whole team with a motivation to get Forward Composites to the top of our target industries: Aerospace, Defense, Automotive, Communications and Motorsport. We’ve had a great start as we’ve already won a UAV program

Arnold Wragg Limited are a well established AS9100 company and have won the machining of the metallic components for the ‘Watchkeeper’ programme.

Arnold Wragg’s Managing Director, Paul Brunton explains,

The agreement between us and Forward Composites is a great milestone for both companies, at Arnold Wragg we have all the machining requirements for the ‘Watchkeeper’ metallic programme and have made it ‘straight forward’ for Forward Composite to look after their supply chain as we’re a one stop shop for metallic Aerospace machining. In addition any enquiries that we receive for machining of composite materials will be passed onto our new partner

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