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BAE Systems awarded £20m contract to increase capability of Italian Tornados

Tornado GR4, in flight
Warton, UK - BAE Systems has been awarded a £20m contract for the upgrade of Italian Air Force Tornados which will give the aircraft extra capability. Work will begin next year on the mid life upgrade of the ECR (Electronic Combat/ Reconnaissance) and IDS (Interdictor/Strike) aircraft variants and is expected to be completed in 2015.

BAE Systems involvement in the mid life upgrade includes the design, develop and manufacture kits for twenty-five aircraft and provide support to Alenia to embody the kits onto the aircraft at their Caselle factory in Turin, Italy.

Improvements include new digital displays replacing the traditional analog ones and full capability to employ night-vision goggles. Also included is MIDS (Multi-functional Information Distribution System) Link 16 which will give the ability to exchange near real-time tactical information, including both data and voice, between air, ground and sea assets.

The award of this contract further underlines the Company's capabilities in the area of readiness and sustainment, which accounted for around 40% of BAE Systems' revenue in 2009.

Steve Debonnaire, BAE Systems Director Tornado said: "BAE Systems is already involved in the mid life upgrade of the first batch of Italian Tornados and based on our performance and the commitment our team has demonstrated, we're delighted to secure this second contract. We will continue to work in close partnership with Alenia, Cassidian and Panavia to ensure this contract is as successful as the last."

This is the last major upgrade of Italian Tornados before the out of service date which is currently expected to be before 2030.

Tornado is a multi-role fighter aircraft developed and built by Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a tri-national consortium consisting of BAE Systems, Alenia Aeronautica of Italy and Cassidian of Germany.


About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).


For more information, please contact
Debbie Stott, BAE Systems
Tel: +44- (0)1772 855840 Mob: +44 (0)7801 716476
deborah.stott@baesystems.com

Andy Bunce, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1772 852714 Mob: +44 (0)7801 716448
andy.bunce@baesystems.com


Issued by:
BAE Systems, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
24hr media hotline: + 44 (0) 7801 717739
www.baesystems.com