Implementation of Britain’s “future contracting for availability” approach of paying for machines in service, rather than parts and hours, generally involves a phased set of contracts and agreements. As each party’s understanding the risks and demands grow, the contract’s complexity and comprehensiveness grow as well, and the framework moves closer and closer to the desired goal of a full availability contract. “Britain Hammers Out Through-Life Support Framework for Tornado Fleet” described how this approach works on the ground, and talked about some of the keys to success. “UK’s “Contracting for Availability” Adds Hawks, Looks Ahead” mentioned the MoD’s March 2007 Long Term Partnering Agreement Foundation Contract with BAE Systems, which aims to place all British military aircraft under this kind of framework.
In late 2007, the UK’s Eurofighter Typhoon fleet entered Quick Reaction Alert service with the RAF, and began flying with new ground-attack capabilities. In step with its growing operational responsibilities, the UK MoD began moving toward an availability contracting maintenance model. A 5-year contract signed in March 2009 accelerated that shift, and the Typhoon Availability Service has begun operations. Recent reports have raised the question: how successful has it been?