MBDA Wins Through-Life Maintenance of UK’s Rapier SAMs
The previous GBP 36 million TRADERS(The Rapier Exchange of Repairable Spares) contract with MBDA was signed in March 2004. In August 2005, however, the MoD’s Land Guided Weapons Integrated Project Team (IPT) launched the Air Defence Availability Project (ADAPT) to provide support to Rapier systems in service on an availability basis, rather than paying for parts and labor. This has been a persistent feature of British defense sustainment contracts, one that larger countries like the USA have been slow to recognize and adopt.
The new ADAPT agreement will sustain Rapier FSC until the system’s eventual out-of-service date in 2020, and the UK MoD estimates savings of GBP 175 million (about $355 million) in whole-life costs over that period – but does not divulge the contract’s total value. Approaches adopted to make this example of “future contracting for availability” mutually beneficial to the MOD and MBDA include contract incentives; a joint management team; contractor and Interated Product Team support co-located at a centre of excellence; fleet management; a ‘one stop shop’ for support to training aids; the use of sponsored reserves; and a first-to-fourth line maintenance policy on operations. MoD release.
Rapier FSC provides Low Level Air Defence over the battlefield for UK forces enemy aircraft and cruise missiles…
The system consists of a launcher with 8 ready-to-fire missiles and an electro-optical tracker, linked to accompanying radars. The combination of radar and EO trackers makes the system highly resistant to electronic countermeasures, and each fire unit group can cover an area of about 100 square km.
Rapier FSC offers a number of upgrades over the Rapier systems used in the 1982 Falklands War, which were credited with 14 kills initially but later revised to 1 kill and 2 probables after checking with Argentine records. The lack of a proximity fuze was identified as a significant issue, and that is just one of the fixes in FSC. A 2004 decision reduced the inventory, but the remaining units must be maintained as Rapier is being integrated with Starstreak HVM missile systems and a larger sensor net via Britain’s GBAD(Ground Based Air Defense) project.
- UK Army – UK Army
- ArmedForces.co.uk – Artillery: Rapier (FS’C’)
- Army Technology – JERNAS / Rapier FSC Air Defence System, United Kingdom
- UK National Audit Office – Air Defence Availability Project Team (ADAPT) Introduction [PDF format]
- UK MoD – Land Environment Air Picture Provision (LEAPP) Fact Sheet. LEAPP is a major element of the Ground Based Air Defence Incremental Acquisition Program, building on current and latent capabilities of Rapier FSC and HVM Missile Systems, and the BRIC digital communications and control interface.
- UK MoD – Bridging Capability Programme – (BriC) IPT. Bridging between current command and control systems, and the GBAD integrated system scheduled for 2012.
- BATTLE ATLAS of the FALKLANDS WAR 1982: by Land, Sea, Air