Rolls-Royce has invested £18m at its facility in Bristol, UK, to support the Europrop International TP400 engine that powers the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft.
The money is expected to fund the provision of facilities to perform maintenance, repair, and overhaul of the TP400 engines, employees training, as well as the conversion of an existing test-bed to enable trialling of the engine on the ground.
Powered by four TP400-D6 engines, the A400M is a multi-national aircraft designed to serve as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities, and recently entered service with the UK Royal Air Force (RAF).
Rolls-Royce customer service defence president Paul Craig said: "This new capability will enable us to ensure that the RAF enjoys the same high level of engine support for its latest aircraft as it does for the other Rolls-Royce powered aircraft in its fleet.
"It also ensures that we can maintain military test capability at Bristol into the future.
"We have worked in close partnership with our employees and their representatives to secure this investment in the Bristol site and we thank them for their support."
UK Business Secretary Vince Cable commented: "The UK’s aerospace is the best in Europe, and is second only to the United States across the world.
"Investments like this from Rolls-Royce will help to keep us there.
"The projects we are funding through our aerospace industrial strategy will ensure that Britain develops the most efficient and green aircraft of the future."
Initially expected to be used to support engines in service with the RAF, the investment would also be made available to support service requirements for other A400M customers.
The UK Ministry of Defence has ordered 22 A400M aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space under a £2.8bn deal in November 2010.
Currently operational with France and Turkey, the aircraft has also been ordered by the air forces of Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Malaysia.
Image: A Europrop TP400 engine fitted on an Airbus A400M aircraft at 2012 ILA Berlin Air Show in Germany. Photo: courtesy of Julian Herzog.