BAE Systems has secured a £2.1bn deal from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to support the Royal Air Force's (RAF) fleet of Typhoon multi-role fighters.
The ten-year deal is expected to reduce current support and maintenance costs by more than £500m, which could be reinvested to upgrade the aircraft.
The savings, generated through the Typhoon Total Availability eNterprise (TyTAN) agreement, will ensure that the aircraft continues to provide world-class air power capability for the RAF, the MoD said in a statement.
UK Defence Procurement Minister Philip Dunne said: “This is an exciting, innovative support contract for our Typhoon aircraft.
“It will not only provide more efficient support and availability for our Typhoon fleet.
"But it will also help ensure Typhoon continues to meet the RAF’s future operational requirements, including from 2019 undertaking the air-to-ground roles currently performed by our Tornado jets.”
The contract will support hundreds of jobs at sites across the UK, including at Typhoon’s Main Operating Base at RAF Coningsby and BAE Systems’ site in Warton, Lancashire.
Based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and the Falkland Islands, Typhoon jets provide Quick Reaction Alert.
In a separate development, a SPEAR air-to-surface precision strike weapon was successfully launched from a Typhoon aircraft for the first time.
The flight trial was conducted from BAE Systems’ site in Warton, Lancashire.
The MBDA-built high-precision, air-to-surface missile has the ability to engage various land-based and sea-based target types such as armoured vehicles, main battle tanks, air defence units, self-propelled guns, ballistic missile launchers, high-mobility vehicles, defended structures and naval vessels.
Image: Minister for Defence Procurement, Philip Dunne, BAe Group Managing Director Nigel Whitehead and Air Vice Marshal Julian Young CB OBE Chief of Materiel Defence Equipment and Support Organisatin and Chief Engineer (RAF)Photo: Crown Copyright.