Typhoon UK: Would You Like Upgrades with That?
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded BAE Systems a GBP 5.4 million contract (about $7 million) to combine scheduled maintenance of Eurofighter Typhoon fighters with the upgrade program already underway at BAE Systems in Warton, UK. This move leaves 6 more aircraft available for front line duties, while eventually bringing 43 ‘Trache 1’ Eurofighters up to the common standard.
BAE Systems Typhoon weapon system capability director Martin Taylor said that: “Through this contract, BAE Systems will become an integral part of the RAF support process. Although based at Warton, this activity will operate as an extension to the support operations at RAF Coningsby, the Typhoon main operating base. This contract represents a significant step in our journey towards a comprehensive availability service.”
The Whole Aircraft Scheduled Maintenance and Upgrade program, named WASMU for ease, represents the first contractual step of the Typhoon Partnered Support program. Under WASMU, a program of primary maintenance activities at 400 flying hours will be carried out at the same time as the ongoing upgrade tasks. Following completion of definition work on the 800 flying hour maintenance package, a follow-on contract for the extension to WASMU through to 2012 is planned. Availability-based contracting is now expected to begin in 2009-2010. See BAE release for more.
UPDATE: See DID’s chronicle of subsequent efforts – “UK’s Eurofighters Fly To Availability-Based Contracting.”