BAE Systems Welcomes New £574 Million Harrier Availability Contract
BAE Systems has today welcomed the award of a new £574 million Harrier availability contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). The contract, which will ensure increased availability of Harrier fighter aircraft to support frontline forces, is consistent with the Company’s strategic move to grow its readiness and sustainment capabilities and support its customers through partnering agreements.
Under the contract known as HPAC; Harrier Platform Availability Contract, BAE Systems will take over responsibility for the depth maintenance of the UK’s fleet of Harrier aircraft that will support the aircraft until its out-of-service date (currently 2018). This maintenance will be carried out jointly with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Navy (RN) at RAF Cottesmore. The RAF and Royal Navy will continue to carry out day-to-day flightline maintenance.
Under the HPAC service, BAE Systems will be responsible for the maintenance of the RAF’s and RN’s Harriers, along with providing spare parts and technical advice to the operational squadrons.
Alun Fishburne, Director of Harrier at BAE Systems, said: “Signature of HPAC represents a major achievement for the joint BAE Systems / UK MOD team and recognises that the connection between the UK’s defence industrial sector and our armed forces has never been more vital. It will provide an effective and flexible through life service to the front line customer at significantly reduced cost. It builds on major growth in BAE Systems’ support activities, and aligns with our ultimate goal to support the men and women of the armed forces.”
A report on fast jet support by the National Audit Office stated that BAE Systems’ existing contracts have already reduced the cost of maintaining the Harrier by £109m, helped cut the cost per flying hour by 44% and made an additional 11 aircraft available to the frontline.
The current contracts such as the Joint Upgrade and Maintenance Programme (JUMP), operating out of RAF Cottesmore, are being incorporated into HPAC and the new contract will build on the success of these. The BAE Systems team has met every milestone on the programme to date.
Group Captain Andy Ebdon, Harrier IPT Leader, MOD, said: “HPAC is great news for the future support of Harrier and is testament to a tremendous sustained joint effort by MOD and Industry to build on the successes already achieved. Joint Force Harrier is now assured of the cost effective support throughout its remaining service to 2018.”
With the award of the £450m Typhoon Availability Service (TAS) contract on the 4th March, the UK MoD has awarded availability contracts valued at over £1bn to BAE Systems in the last two months.
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