GBP 315M Tornado Maintenance Contracts Pave Way for “Future Contracting for Availability”
The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded an innovative GBP 130 million contract ($230.5 million) to BAE Systems for Combined Maintenance and Upgrade work on the Royal Air Force’s Fleet of 139 Tornado GR4 strike aircraft (the UK also operates the Tornado F3 interceptor variant). Another GBP 185 million ($330 million) agreement has been signed with Rolls Royce for the Tornado fleet’s Turbounion RB199 turbofan engines.
As discussed in DID’s focus piece on the UK’s CVF future aircraft carrier, The UK MoD’s “Future Contracting for Availability” orientation represents a long term trend toward all-encompassing lifecycle maintenance contracts that is slowly being rolled out across its equipment fleet. These contracts are another step in that direction. Details follow…
Under the 10-year contract for the Tornado GR4 fleet, BAE Systems Customer Solutions & Support will be responsible to the Tornado Integrated Project Team for the delivery of Combined Maintenance and Upgrade work at RAF Marham.
As Minister for Armed Forces Adam Ingram said:
“This award is the second in a series of incremental packages leading to the eventual placement of a single support contract package for the Tornado fleet. The CMU contract not only ensures the Tornado GR4 aircraft remains a potent platform over the next ten years but will maximise fleet availability for operations. This is also good news for the British taxpayer as this innovative programme will reduce the cost of supporting the Tornado fleet by over GBP 100 million.”
Rolls-Royce, meanwhile, will undertake full responsibility for RB199 engine support and will guarantee an agreed level of availability over the new five-year RB199 Operational Contract for Engine Transformation (ROCET).
This latest move follows on from a successful pilot scheme, under which Rolls-Royce guaranteed availability on three modules of the RB199 engine. That pilot demonstrated substantial cost savings due to a 34% reduction in module repairs, despite the number of aircraft flying hours exceeding the originally planned level.
Under the terms of this contract, Rolls-Royce is the prime contractor for all repair and overhaul activity, encompassing full responsibility for spares provisioning, inventory management, technical and logistics support to the first line customer.
Other contractors that will support the engine availability include Goodrich Engine Control Systems, Birmingham and Wood Group Accessories and Components Ltd, Dundee.
UPDATE: The Tornado ATTAC contract was signed in December 2006, bringing the Tornado fleet more fully within Britain’s desired “future contracting for availability” framework.