Harrier support

BAE Systems has been awarded a £574m contract to support RAF and Royal Navy Harriers during the remainder of their service life.

The contract involves repair, maintenance, spares provision, upgrade work and technical support. Work will be undertaken at the Harrier’s main operating base at RAF Cottesmore in Rutland and is expected to secure around 300 jobs.

Quentin Davies, defence equipment and support minister, said: ‘The Harrier force continues to play a vital role in operations in Afghanistan. This is a significant contract that builds on our existing excellent partnering arrangements with industry. Such contracts have already resulted in considerable financial savings, as well as ensuring that the Harrier force is fully prepared to meet front-line requirements.’

Group Captain Andy Ebdon, MoD defence equipment and support Harrier team leader, added: ‘Joint Force Harrier is now assured of cost-effective support throughout its remaining service.’

Harrier aircraft are currently in operation in Afghanistan and are used for strike and reconnaissance roles from sea and land.

The previous support contract will now transfer to the new Harrier Platform Availability Contract (HPAC), helping to secure jobs in Warton, Samlesbury and Farnborough.