BAE Systems has agreed a multi-million pound deal with the MoD that secures at least 500 jobs supporting RAF Marham‘s Tornado GR4 fleet.
News of the £125 million extension to BAE’s support contract for the RAF’s Tornado fleet, which includes aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, has been welcomed by South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss.
She said: “This is excellent news for Norfolk as I understand that the majority of the work will take place at RAF Marham. With such a skilled workforce in place plus the arrival of Lightning II in 2018/2019, the opportunities locally are tremendous.”
And a spokesman for the multinational defence company BAE Systems said: “This is good news for BAE Systems and a testament to all the good work already done by people at the base.”
BAE Systems has 250 employees at RAF Marham, two thirds of whom are technicians working on the aircraft and the remainder office-based admin support staff.
In addition there are a further 250 sub-contractors who work for BAE Systems at the base in technical roles.
The support contract is due to continue until 2019 when the Tornado GR4s are due to be retired.
The contract is a progression from ATTAC – Availability Transformation: Tornado Aircraft Contract – started in 2006 and was due to expire in 2016. The ATTAC contract guarantees that the Tornado aircraft availability, capability and effectiveness will be maintained throughout its service life.
Currently the contract sustains 600 jobs across the UK for BAE.
BAE’s group managing director Nigel Whitehead said: “I am delighted that we have been able to agree terms to continue to support the RAF’s fleet of Tornado aircraft until their out of service date.
“The original ATTAC contract has proved highly successful. It’s an excellent example of partnering as it provides an agile and responsive solution to our customer’s needs.
“This extension will mean we continue to play an essential role in helping the RAF gain operational advantage no matter what the challenge.
“Everyone involved with ATTAC, from our team to the RAF and the MoD has worked tirelessly to ensure the RAF has Tornados available to support operational requirements whilst ensuring the service delivers value for money.”
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “This investment will ensure our Tornado aircraft continue to be battle ready for the next five years, as a key part of the RAF’s fast jet fleet.”