The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Air Defence & Air Traffic Systems Delivery Team (ADATS-DT) has awarded a contract to Babcock for upgrade and modernisation of the former German Air Force Equipment (GAFE) in service with the Royal Air Force (RAF).

According to the terms of the competitively-awarded £4m contract, the company will overhaul and modernise two SA-8 surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, which are currently employed in electronic warfare training programmes at RAF Spadeadam in Cumbria, UK.

Additional contract responsibilities include the supply of spares for the systems, and along with all training, documentation and technical tasks.

Specifically, the refurbishment programme requires the company to disintegrate all installations, assemblies and sub-assemblies, undertake repairs, upgrade or replacement as required, and restore the system, including alignment and calibration, integration, acceptance testing and commissioning.

"The company will overhaul and modernise two SA-8 surface-to-air missile systems, which are currently employed in electronic warfare training programmes."

As part of the modernisation work, Babcock will equip the system with new LCD displays, modern digital electronics, a long-range thermal and visual imager to help improve the system operability, reliability and maintainability.

Additional work includes the replacement of certain components, and the addition of new options, such as onboard air-conditioning and dehumidification to improve the training system.

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Babcock has successfully completed the upgrade, modernisation and enhancement of the two SA-6 systems for ADATS.

Commenting on the contract award, Babcock Defence Communications director Tom Mulhall said: ”We look forward to building on our successful completion of the similar SA-6 contract and to applying our proven experience, people and resources to manage and deliver the SA-8 project successfully, safely and reliably, ensuring maximum availability of the systems at RAF Spadeadam.”

In addition, the company already delivers in-depth repair and support services to the ADATS-DT across an array of complex systems, including the SA-8s.

Work under the latest contract is scheduled to run for the next four years.

Designated as the 9K33 Osa, the SA-8 is a mobile, low-altitude, short-range tactical SAM system designed to acquire, track, engage and guide the weapon to the target.

Image: SA-8 system’s 9A33BM transporter erector launcher and radar (TELAR). Photo: courtesy of KGG1951.

Defence Technology