A new £350m MOD contract to maintain the Royal Air Force's Hercules aircraft will support 500 UK jobs.
This will help support operations in Afghanistan with greater resilience through continuing maintenance of the fleet.
Hercules aircraft are a vital part of the RAF’s fleet, carrying troops, supplies and equipment in support of operations around the world. They also perform lifesaving medical evacuation missions, transporting injured personnel home from Afghanistan.
The deal with Marshall Aerospace will sustain 500 UK jobs, with the majority based in the company’s facility at Cambridge Airport. Work will also be undertaken by Lockheed Martin at sites in Havant, Stansted and Gloucester, and by Rolls-Royce and its sub-contractor Vector Aerospace in Filton, Hook, Croydon and Brize Norton. Lockheed Martin will look after supply chain management and Rolls-Royce will maintain the engines.
This Hercules Integrated Operational Support contract saves the MOD £170m by replacing several short-term contracts with one agreement to provide the maintenance of the whole Hercules fleet until the end of 2015.
Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff, said:
The Hercules aircraft is a key part of our long-range RAF air transport force and supports thousands of troops on operations across the globe. This new agreement will not only save the taxpayer money but will also ensure the fleet has continued support to maintain aircraft availability, especially for Afghanistan.
The announcement of this contract is just part of the comprehensive regeneration of our Armed Forces’ equipment that has been made possible thanks to the Government’s balancing of the Defence Budget for the first time in a generation.
Group Captain Nick Cox, Defence Equipment and Support Project Team Leader, said:
The Hercules Integrated Operational Support contract will continue to play a crucial role in maintaining aircraft availability as our Hercules fleet continues to meet the demands of our operations.