BAE Systems Seeks Military Air Transport Customers For BAe 146m
London, United Kingdom: BAE Systems announced today at the Defence Services & Equipment International Exhibition (DSEI) in London that it intends to promote the BAe 146 to the world’s military as a cost-effective transport.
Dubbed the BAe 146M, the aircraft will be offered to Air Forces who operate ageing turboprop and jet airliners that are currently used for transport and communications tasks. It is estimated that there are currently over 1700 such aircraft in service with nearly 150 air arms and many of these aircraft are in excess of 40 years old.
BAE Systems believes the BAe 146M could also be used by Air Forces to complement existing fleets of tactical airlifters such as C130 Hercules, by taking on a wide variety of non tactical air transport roles, thereby prolonging the fatigue life on ageing tactical assets. The BAe 146M, however, has a performance capability that means it can realistically undertake some of the more challenging air transport support roles, including operations from unpaved runways.
The Asset Management business of BAE Systems has a number of BAe 146-200 and -300 Series aircraft that are due back off lease from European airline customers over the next few years and which could be made available to the military airlift market.
The BAe 146 is a reliable, robust and affordable aircraft that can be acquired for between $2-3 million in a passenger configuration and up to $5 million as a freighter. Many of the BAe 146s to be offered have yet to reach half life and given typical military utilisations, the aircraft can be expected to offer reliable service for many years. BAE Systems believes the BAe 146M offers cost-effective additional airlift capability for interim or long-term requirements and is available at a time when defence budgets increasingly are under strain.
The BAe 146M will be sold to military air arms in either passenger or freighter configuration. As pure passenger aircraft these aircraft will seat between 80-109 passengers; as freighters they will carry between 11-12.5 tonnes of freight. Delivery timescales are very short so the aircraft can be put into service relatively quickly to meet current airlift shortfalls.
A range of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) modifications can be made available such as additional fuel tanks, LCD Flight deck displays, steep approach and unpaved runway capability.
The BAe 146M also has potential as a platform for specialist multi-role concepts such as combined passenger and freight (Combi), as a paratroop transport, for medical evacuation, as a forward air refueller, for re-broadcasting and for general surveillance duties.
The addition of the BAe 146M to the Asset Management placement strategy, means that the business now has five distinct markets it is targeting for its used aircraft portfolio. In addition to the military market, aircraft are also being offered to the airliner market, as a freighter (the BAe 146QT), or converted for business aircraft use (the Avro Business Jet) or converted as airtankers for the waterbombing role (BAe 146AT).
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