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1 June, 2006 - 07:16 By Staff Reporter

New jobs as Marshall Aerospace wins £1.52 billion contract

Marshall Aerospace has won a £1.52 billion contract from the MoD to support the RAF’s fleet of Hercules transport aircraft – a deal that will create new jobs in Cambridge and secure the future of 500 existing posts.

The number of new jobs that may be involved is still being evaluated but, for the current workforce supporting the RAF fleet, the contract cuts through any long-term worries about boom and bust periods in a tough global industry.

Lord Drayson, Minister for Defence Procurement, has also revealed that awarding the contract to Marshall Aerospace will save British taxpayers more than £171 million over the next 24 years.

Business Weekly has previously exclusively revealed the vast savings to the taxpayer that Marshall’s aerospace solutions offer in any MoD work.

Marshall Aerospace CEO, Martin Broadhurst, said the move provide guaranteed and improved availability of aircraft to the RAF while significantly reducing support costs.

As prime contractor, Marshall will work in a close partnered relationship with the UK MOD Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO), the RAF and its industry partners Lockheed Martin and Rolls-Royce plc in delivering Hercules Integrated Operational Support (HIOS).

This coherent partnering approach provides aircraft depth maintenance through Marshall at Cambridge, with both this activity and RAF forward maintenance supported by a Lockheed led supply chain; propulsion system support through Rolls Royce; and a joint industry and MOD Technical Support Group - all aimed at keeping the RAF's Hercules fleet available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, worldwide.

The RAF Hercules fleet comprises 24 C-130K and 25 C-130J aircraft used in the air transport and aeromedical evacuation role, to support the front-line in theatres of operation. The RAF's versatile 'workhorse of the skies' has also been at the forefront of humanitarian aid work across Africa and recently in support of the earthquake relief mission in the mountains of

Pakistan.

Lord Drayson, said: “This contract will transform the way we support Hercules and will see real

benefits for our Armed Forces as it guarantees aircraft to the front line, ready-to-fly, more of the time.

“It is an excellent example of the Defence Industrial Strategy in action where we are working more closely with industry to ensure the future sustainment of a vital military capability.

“The Hercules has a superb operational record and our contract with Marshall will ensure that this continues. This contract is also good news for the British taxpayer, saving in excess of

£171m over the next 24 years.”

Since its introduction into service in 1968, the Hercules aircraft has been used in almost every major UK operation, seeing extensive use during Operation Iraqi Freedom and in support of humanitarian missions across the globe.

As a well-established Hercules Service Centre, Marshall Aerospace subsequently became the UK Sister Design Authority for the aircraft in 1988, and has since carried out many major modifications and alterations to the Hercules.

These have included the design and conversion of one aircraft for meteorological research, and the stretch of 30 aircraft by the insertion of two plugs to lengthen the fuselage by over four metres.

During the Falklands conflict in 1982, the company designed and fitted flight-refuelling equipment to a number of Hercules, which were then able to perform operational tasks within 21 days of the initial request for modification having been made.

In recent years, Marshall Aerospace has begun a programme of cockpit upgrades on the Hercules including standardisation modifications, structural refurbishment and miscellaneous repairs. The upgrade incorporates several new mission enhancing systems together with a Flight Management System (FMS), Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), Navigation, Radio Navigation, EW Self Protection, Intercom and Digital Autopilots.

Marshall Aerospace is a global leader in all aspects of the Hercules, and in addition to its work for the RAF, the company’s Hercules Service Centre has also given support to over 70 air forces and civilian operators worldwide.

This has recently included a major avionics upgrade for the South African Air Force, the conversion of aircraft for Austria, and ongoing engineering support work in Australia.

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