The UK MoD has awarded a £865m ($1.4bn) contract to Rolls-Royce for the development of EJ200 engines for the RAF’s advanced Typhoon jet fighter.

Under the ten-year contract, Rolls-Royce will provide maintenance and support to the Typhoon EJ200 engines that will eventually help sustain nearly 3,000 high-skill jobs.

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Quentin Davies said this contract would ensure that Typhoon aircraft continue to meet their operational commitments as a cornerstone of the UK’s air defence capabilities.

“We are committed to building strong arrangements with UK industry, in this case to get more efficient and affordable support for our front-line Typhoon fighter force,” he said.

The RAF will use the latest Typhoon, a multirole fighter, for air and ground attack.

Based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, the Typhoon aircraft will replace the Tornado F3, currently in service with the air force.

The engine work will be performed at RAF Coningsby, the Typhoon main operating base, and at RAF Leuchars, the new Typhoon forward operating base, at the end of 2010.

Rolls-Royce will also undertake some engine work at its Ansty facility in Leicestershire and its Filton facility in Bristol.