Tempus Applied Solutions (TAS) has entered a definitive agreement to purchase six Ex-Royal Air Force (RAF) Lockheed L-1011 TriStar aircraft.

The aircraft were decommissioned in 2014 after serving the RAF and Nato for 30 years. The L-1011s still have many years of service life remaining.

Of the six aircraft, four are specifically configured for air-to-air refuelling (AAR) operations and the remaining for passenger and cargo operations only.

Tempus Applied Solutions CEO Scott Terry said: "We are very encouraged to have found a potential solution for the shortage of AAR services that currently exist within the US Navy and Marine Corps tactical aviation and many Nato/allied airforces.

"We are very encouraged to have found a potential solution for the shortage of AAR services that currently exist within the US Navy and Marine Corps tactical aviation and many Nato/allied airforces."

“We will perform the necessary inspections and evaluations over the next several weeks in order that the transaction can close as soon as possible."

Completion of the acquisition is subject to satisfactory inspection of the aircraft and associated log books and support equipment.

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Following acceptance and the completion of required maintenance, the US-registered aircraft will be transported from the UK to one of the company’s operations base in the continental US.

Three of the AAR configured aircraft will be marketed for contractor owned/operated AAR operations with a focus on the US Navy, Nato, and other allied airforces while the other aircraft will be used as spare parts.