The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded an innovative contract worth some £130 million to BAE Systems for Combined Maintenance and Upgrade work on the Royal Air Force's Fleet of Tornado GR4 aircraft. The contract underlines the MOD’s commitment to providing value for money on behalf of the taxpayer.
Under the ten-year contract, BAE Systems Customer Solutions & Support, the original equipment manufacturer, will be responsible to the Tornado Integrated Project Team (IPT) for the delivery of Combined Maintenance and Upgrade (CMU) work at RAF Marham. This will deliver significant savings consistent with the MOD Defence Logistics Organisation's (DLO) objective of reducing the cost-of-ownership of existing systems and contributing to the modernisation of Defence heralded in the Strategic Defence Review.
Tornado GR4, the UK’s primary attack aircraft, provides vital front-line capability to the Armed Forces in theatres of operation around the world.
Day or night, in all weather, the aircraft is capable of supersonic speeds and evading enemy radar by terrain-hugging low-level flight systems. The Tornado's armament of 'smart' weapons includes the 'Storm Shadow' cruise missile.
Minister for Armed Forces, Adam Ingram, said:
“This award is the second in a series of incremental packages leading to the eventual placement of a single support contract package for the Tornado fleet. The CMU contract not only ensures the Tornado GR4 aircraft remains a potent platform over the next ten years but will maximise fleet availability for operations. This is also good news for the British taxpayer as this innovative programme will reduce the cost of supporting the Tornado fleet by over £100 million."
Kevin Taylor, managing director of BAE Systems’ military air support business, said:
“This is a significant development in our partnering arrangements with the DLO and RAF. It enables us to build on our existing skills in developing capability and innovative support solutions. The results we have already achieved on CMU give us the confidence that this long-term partnering arrangement will lead to a significant increase in aircraft availability and deliver the necessary value for money."
Tornado GR4 is the primary attack aircraft of the RAF. The RAF operates a total of 139 Tornado GR4 aircraft, which are based at RAF Marham and RAF Lossiemouth. Since its introduction into service in 1980, the aircraft has been used in almost every major UK operation, seeing extensive use during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
BAE Systems has major operations across five continents and customers in some 130 countries. The Company employs over 90,000 people and generates annual sales of approximately £14.8 billion through its wholly owned and joint-venture operations.
New Combined Maintenance and Upgrade Contract for RAF’s Tornado Aircraft Will Save in Excess of £100 Million