The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded two contracts, worth around £120m, to upgrade the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Hercules C-130J and Typhoon aircraft fleet.

Marshall Aerospace and Defence is tasked with replacing Hercules C-130J aircraft’s centre wing box.

The replacement is expected to extend the Hercules C-130J’s service life to 2035, allowing the aircraft to continue to transport personnel and equipment around the world.

The contract is anticipated to sustain 330 jobs in Cambridge, UK, contributing to the 5,100 UK jobs the company already supports in the region.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “These contracts demonstrate our commitment to supporting the UK’s air power, through maintaining battle proven aircraft and training the next generation of fast jet pilots.

"This substantial investment will ensure our airforce can continue to perform at its very best."

“This substantial investment will ensure our airforce can continue to perform at its very best. Backed by our rising defence budget and £178bn equipment plan, these contracts will sustain high-skilled jobs in Britain and ensure that our armed forces have the best equipment and training available to keep the UK safe.”

Another £9.5m contract with QinetiQ will provide Typhoon pilots with the latest cockpit technology to prepare them for front line combat, MoD stated.

The technical update will allow Typhoon crews, based at RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Coningsby, to link to the Air Battlespace Training Centre at RAF Waddington and undertake ten weeks of simulated battle training a year in the latest cockpit and simulated training technology.

With this update, trainee aircrew will be exposed to simulated battlefield situations and the training facilitators can develop scenarios, provide mission management support and post mission debriefs to ensure the crews will be best prepared for deployment, according to the statement.