The UK Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) has confirmed its continuing collaboration with Thales by awarding a support contract for the Multi-Domain Mission Support System (MD MSS).

The $66.6m (£47m) five-year contract was signed last month and will ensure the MD MSS system’s availability and other future challenges.

The MD MSS is used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy for operational information and enhanced situational awareness.

In addition to repairs and maintenance through a helpdesk, the contract includes the spiral development of MD MSS as a key element.

UK Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: “This £47m investment will enhance the MD MSS capability and offer further protection across our air and maritime platforms, exploiting data to provide a battle-winning advantage.

“A prime example of British innovation, this vital technology will support highly skilled jobs in the UK.”

For the past four decades, Thales has been providing operational information technology to the RAF.

According to Thales, continued investment in MD MSS will allow wider ‘multi-domain integration’ and boost further ‘joint inter-operability and digital transformation’.

In the maritime domain, the capability can also be used on board the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales to support air operations by the Carrier Strike Group (CSG).

Thales UK CEO and chairman Alex Cresswell said: “We are delighted to be continuing our strong relationship with the RAF and we are very proud that MD MSS continues to be the RAF’s mission system of choice for its air platforms.

“No other MoD digital solution provides the same functionality and information sources, which spans mission planning and intelligence in an end-to-end all-encompassing solution.”

Thales stated that the latest contract would secure 150 jobs in the UK and includes a team of 40 software engineers based in the company’s Templecombe facility in Somerset.

The contract also includes field service engineers supporting 19 ground locations in the UK and abroad.