Top US Military man in town to see Cumbernauld -based facilities at rocket production plant

A Cumbernauld business had a stellar guest last week from the United States last week after a four-star general and the most senior military leader in charge of the US Space Force undertook a special tour of the cutting-edge plant.


General John W 'Jay' Raymond visited the facilities of British rocket company Skyrora which is located in an industrial area which the company does not want to disclose.

And he combined this with his usual duties as military advisor to the US secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin 111, the National Security Council and President Joe Biden

During a highly distinguished military career, General Raymond has worked not only in key locations like the Pentagon but Yokata Air Base in Japan and RAF Feltwell in Norfolk.

His landmark visit was aimed to boost the key space relationship between the UK and US ahead of Skyrora’s plans to be the first UK company to complete a vertical launch from home soil in 2023.

It is intended that Shetland should be the chosen site for the launch.

How the rockets could benefit the US and the UK defence industry was a matter under discussion at the event, with particular regard to the conflict in Ukraine, it has now emerged.

And while on site, General Raymond – who also visited the Edinburgh Military Tattoo during his stay – was able to witness the UK’s launch industry capabilities first hand.

General Raymond said: “Now, more than ever, international cooperation in space is critically important. And the proliferation of commercial space efforts helps all spacefaring nations by driving costs down.

"I appreciate the fantastic tour of the Skyrora facilities and the opportunity to spend time with the impressive team there.”

Lee Rosen, Chief Operations Officer at Skyrora, said: “General Raymond’s visit on behalf of the US Space Force has been a valuable opportunity to provide insight into Skyrora’s rapid, responsive technical capabilities.

"This includes our mobile launch complex and third stage technology, which can contribute to several key space applications, including in-orbit spacecraft servicing and space domain awareness.

"These will enable key defence activities within space for the benefit of all.”