08 Jul 21. £230m boost for RAF submarine-hunter fleet. A contract worth over £230m for the RAF’s Poseidon Maritime Aircraft fleet has been signed with Boeing Defence UK (BDUK) creating more than 150 UK jobs.
The majority of the 153 BDUK jobs will be based at RAF Lossiemouth – the home of the Poseidon fleet – and will provide aircraft maintenance support and personnel alongside a comprehensive training package for aircraft crews. The remaining 46 jobs will be spread across sites at Bristol, Yeovil and Gosport.
Specialising in anti-submarine warfare, the Poseidon (P-8A) is the RAF’s multi-role maritime patrol aircraft. Working alongside the Royal Navy and close maritime allies such as the United States and Norway, Poseidon locates, identifies and tracks potentially hostile submarines operating around UK waters.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said, “Our new Poseidon fleet continues to grow from strength to strength and is already defending the UK’s maritime interests at home and abroad.
This contract with Boeing Defence UK secures our critical submarine-hunting aircraft capabilities whilst also creating a home-grown training enterprise and creating over 150 British jobs.”
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said, “This contract award and the creation of more than 100 jobs at RAF Lossiemouth is another great example of the benefits UK defence investment brings to Scotland. The Moray station’s fleet of Poseidon submarine hunting aircraft are vital to maintaining the security of the UK and our NATO allies. And the prosperity generated by defence employment in Scotland, alongside the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs, will help us build back better from the pandemic.”
This latest contract builds on the £470m investment that the Poseidon programme has already driven to RAF Lossiemouth and the local area, creating and sustaining jobs and boosting the local economy.
The Poseidon fleet is operated from a new £100m facility at RAF Lossiemouth, opened in September 2020. Over 300 jobs were supported during the facility’s construction. The facility has a three-bay hangar, accommodation for squadrons, training, mission support and two state-of-the art flight simulators.
RAF Lossiemouth has also undergone a £75m upgrade to the runway and other operating surfaces. It will be the future home of the UK’s fleet of Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning surveillance aircraft, Scotland’s crucial role in UK and NATO defence and security.
DE&S P-8A Poseidon team leader, Malcolm French said:
I am extremely proud of the P-8A delivery team and what is yet another example of great delivery by DE&S. Placed to a tight timescale, and encompassing exacting requirements, this contract helps enable the full range of capability that Poseidon brings to be realised, sees our modern aircraft fully supported, and our personnel being trained from state-of-the-art facilities.
Nine Poseidon, based on the Boeing 737-800, have already been ordered from Boeing by the UK. Five aircraft named the ‘Pride of Moray’, ‘City of Elgin’, ‘Terence Bulloch’, ‘Spirit of Reykjavik’ and ‘Fulmar’ are all now operating out of Lossiemouth, with four more to come later this year.
The new investment in the Poseidon fleet is supported by the £24bn increase to defence spending over the next four years and will ensure the aircraft can continue to undertake its vital role in securing our seas and combating rapidly evolving threats. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
05 Jul 21. Red, White and Blue Letter Day for Marshall. Marshall is celebrating the departure of the first US Marine Corps KC-130J tanker aircraft after completing a planned maintenance interval at its world-leading MRO facility in Cambridge, United Kingdom, under the company’s ten-year multi-million dollar contract with the United States Government.
The aircraft has now returned to Marine Corps North Carolina-based squadron VMGR-252, the oldest continually active squadron in the Marine Corps, where it will provide transport of personnel, equipment, and supplies, and aerial refuelling service to fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
Duncan Eldridge, Managing Director, Marshall Military Aerospace comments: “We are delighted to be returning the aircraft to the squadron having completed an extensive amount of work identified as part of the planned maintenance interval to ensure that it can continue to complete its important work for the US Marine Corps.
“Its successful delivery is a very significant and exciting milestone for Marshall and the team has particularly enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside and learn from the teams from the US Government, going above and beyond to deliver our usual standards of exceptional service to this important customer.”
Commanding Officer Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific, LtCol Kevin M. Ryan, USMC commented: “Taking receipt of this Marine Corps KC-130J aircraft marks the first successful completion of a planned maintenance interval event by Marshall. The professionally serviced KC-130J aircraft now meets or exceeds all of the requirements to be a safe, mission-ready aircraft, and we look forward to its return to service with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252)
“Marshall’s performance on this first aircraft gives me the confidence that we will be able to continue to meet the U.S. military’s needs for C-130 maintenance and positively impact readiness and sustainment goals within the Naval Aviation Enterprise.”
Marshall won the Multiple Award Contract (MAC) back in 2020 after a rigorous international competition that included extensive pre-solicitation audits and demonstration of past performance, bringing the number of global C-130 operators it supports to 17.
01 Jul 21. Singapore air force boosts smart airbase initiative with Hope Technik’s CLAW munitions loader. The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is trialling a new combat aircraft munitions loader that it believes will increase the precision and efficiency of ground crew during munitions loading for timely air power generation, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) announced on 30 June.
According to MINDEF, the enhanced munitions loader incorporates a range of technology enablers such as data analytics and robotics developed by the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) in partnership with the RSAF, enabling the loader to be operated by only one personnel compared to the typical three-person loading team required for the service’s existing systems, translating into potential manpower savings of up to 66%.
The RSAF operates several types of munitions loaders including the MJ-1 ‘Jammer’ hydraulic stores lifter, which has seen widespread use by international air forces since the 1950s.
The MINDEF said that the enhanced munitions loader is undergoing trials and is expected to be deployed for operations by the end of the year, although it did not disclose the number of systems acquired or detailed specifications.
However, Janes can confirm that the enhanced munitions loader was originally developed by HOPE Technik, a local technology developer specialising in bespoke research and manufacturing for the commercial, defence, and government sectors.
The company first unveiled a prototype, which it calls the Compact Loader for Aircraft Weapons (CLAW), at the 2020 edition of the Singapore Airshow exhibition. (Source: Jane’s)