Rolls-Royce has established its first Service Delivery Centre for support and maintenance of military engines at the UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) base at Marham in Norfolk.

Featuring a team of 15 specialist Rolls-Royce engineers, the newly opened centre is designed to provide tailored support services for the RAF’s Tornado combat aircraft‘s RB199 turbofan jet engines at the customer’s operating base.

Rolls-Royce chief executive John Rishton said the new service delivery centre will enable the company to maximise engine time on-wing and improve response times on critical operational decisions.

UK chief of the air staff, air chief marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, added: "This state of the art facility will provide critical support to the Royal Air Force’s Tornado fleet so that it can continue to deliver the first rate operational capability for which the force is justifiably famous."

"Rolls-Royce has been supporting the Tornado’s RB199 engines since December 2005."

The centre also possesses live video links to the Rolls-Royce Operations Centre in Bristol, south-west England, which will enhance the aircraft’s mission availability by enabling real-time decision making on engine issues.

Development work on the service delivery centre commenced at Marham in April 2012 and was accomplished in September of the same year.

Rolls-Royce has been supporting the Tornado’s RB199 engines since December 2005, as part of the RB199 Operational Contract for Engine Transformation (ROCET).

The contract, which aims to halve the engine support cost for the RAF, was further renewed and expanded in April 2010, to include the transfer of the RB199 repair and overhaul to Bristol from Marham, until 2025.

Image: The Tornado F3 air defence variant is a long-range, long-endurance fighter intercept aircraft.