UK DIO completes hangar for RAF's A400M Atlas maintenance


The UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has completed construction on an A400M Atlas aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul facility at the Royal Air Force's (RAF) Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

Infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty constructed the three bay hangar at a cost of £42m.

Work under the project included levelling the site, diverting underground pipes and cables and installing emergency water storage tanks.

"The tactical and strategic airlift aircraft, which will replace the C130 Hercules, will enable the RAF to support all three services and be interoperable."

In addition to three separate bays to hold three individual aircraft, the facility has a ground equipment store, engine and tyre bays and a three-storey office and amenities block.

Besides three A400M Atlas aircraft, the hangar can house the C17 Globemaster and the A330 Voyager.

DIO project manager Denis Williams said: “The A400M Atlas will be the mainstay of the RAF’s air transport fleet so this hangar is a vital facility which will enable the aircraft to be maintained and repaired. I’m delighted to mark the completion of DIO’s role in this pan-defence project.”

The RAF will operate 22 A400M Atlas aircraft to support the deployment of the Joint Rapid Reaction Force.

The tactical and strategic airlift aircraft, which will replace the C130 Hercules, will enable the RAF to support all three services and be interoperable.

The A400M is capable of operating from short, unprepared landing strips and also performing at 150ft above ground level, as well as high-altitude of up to 40,000ft.

It ensures the deployment of conventional and high readiness forces and equipment directly into the operational area, DIO said in a statement.

The 45m-long aircraft, which entered service in March 2015, has already provided mission support by flying operational cargo to RAF Akrotiri.