The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) procurement arm Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) has signed a $108.42m (£80m) contract with Bristol-based Centreline.

Under the contract, Centreline will deliver two Dassault 900LX aircraft and provide two years of initial support.

The contract encompasses additional options for three years that will be exercised according to requirements.

These new aircraft will replace four BAe146 aircraft and support the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) in cooperating with key partners and allies.

The Dassault 900LX aircraft feature smaller engines for minimised fuel burn and emissions. 

It was selected as the replacement in the competition as it met the performance, cost value and time requirements.

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British Royal Air Force (RAF) programme lead air commodore Martin said: “The Defence Equipment and Support and RAF teams have done an incredible job to procure these modern and efficient aircraft. I look forward to seeing them support the UK Defence Mission and our wider strategic partnerships.”

Under the two-phase programme, the aircraft will be operated by a mixed crew of civilian and RAF personnel initially.

For reaching maximum capability, these aircraft will be modernised with missile jamming systems and military communications.

Meanwhile, two BAe 146 aircraft, following 40 years of service, will be preserved at the British Airliner Collection at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, and the South Wales Aviation Museum at St Athan in South Glamorgan.

The other two aeroplanes have been acquired by a civilian operator.