Supporting Typhoon for the frontline

Working in partnership at RAF Coningsby
We have a long-term contract to support the Royal Air Force Typhoon fleet, working in partnership with the RAF to ensure ongoing operational requirements are met.

What is it?

It is a partnering arrangement with UK Ministry of Defence to maintain and support the RAF fleet of Typhoon aircraft. The original Typhoon Availability Service contract was signed in 2009. The service is delivered mainly from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and our site at Warton, Lancashire.

Support at RAF Coningsby


We do this through:

  • Our Typhoon aircrew and ground crew training
  • Delivery of maintenance and the servicing of the aircraft
  • Providing technical support
  • Managing spares, repairs and logistics

What are the benefits?


So what are the benefits to our customer? Cliff Wren, Defence Equipment and Support for the UK MOD says:

"Measureable performance improvement.  When we started the contract, things like the ‘Aircraft on Ground Awaiting Spares metric (not a good thing) was typically in double digits, whereas now it’s around four per cent.  That is a dramatic improvement and it has been delivered with significant cost reductions”

Working in partnership at RAF Coningsby

It has transferred a large degree of integration risk – traditionally, the risk that contracts don’t mesh properly is held entirely by the Crown.  By putting a wrapper around that and by bringing in BAE Systems as prime, the integration risk becomes BAE Systems’ risk. The final benefit is cost control.  In the winter of 2008 we set ourselves some significant challenges in terms of the savings it could make, either by cost avoidance or by doing things more cheaply.  It is delivering against a £2.6bn affordability challenge."


The Facts

All you need to know about how we support Typhoon
  • The Typhoon Availability Service was awarded on 4th March 2009 - followed six months later by the Initial Service Date
  • The five year contract will transform the service to enable a reduction in fleet through life support cost of £2.5bn
  • Although we have had a presence at RAF Coningsby since 2004, the contract has increased our employees based at RAF Coningsby to over 300 people
  • Our support covers areas such as a technical support centre and a maintenance facility for Typhoon
  • We extended the contract to RAF Leuchars in October 2010 to coincide with the stand up of No. 6 Squadron.

What is Quick Reaction Alert?

It’s how the RAF protects UK airspace.
Quick Reaction Alert
The real backbone of the team is the people who ensure the aircraft is fit for purpose, and ready to perform because, when you press that button, everything needs to work first time.

Air Commodore Harry Atkinson, Former Station Commander at RAF Leuchars in Fife, and Head of the RAF in Scotland, is a veteran of QRA missions.


What role do we play in QRA?

Our role is not specifically to support QRA operations; it is to support all of the operations of the RAF’s Typhoon fleet that enables the RAF to perform their duties, such as QRA.
Quick Reaction Alert at RAF Coningsby


Through a contract with the UK Ministry of Defence, known as the Typhoon Availability Service (TAS), we play a major role in ensuring the availability of the  RAF’s Typhoon fleet to meet its commitments. We do this by working side-by-side with RAF personnel at RAF Coningsby, RAF Leuchars and at ‘satellite locations’ such as the Falkland Islands; between us we ensure that when there is a QRA call, and the pilot has to press that button, everything works.


TAS in action

A real example of how we have supported Typhoon
A Royal Air Force Typhoon takes off on a mission from Gioia del Colle Airfield during Operation Ellamy in 2011.


Through Operation Ellamy we have proved that through the Typhoon Availability Service we can deliver real benefits, even under the most extreme of operational circumstances.

What happened?

On Thursday 17 March 2011 in New York, UN resolution 1973 was passed by the Security Council authorising the use of military force to protect civilians in Libya. This led to Typhoon aircraft being deployed from UK RAF bases within 60 hours of the resolution being passed.

What did we do?

We ensured the availability of the RAF’s Typhon fleet to meet the UN requirements in Libya. Following  a brief by the RAF, our personnel at Warton and Samlesbury worked side-by-side with personnel at RAF Coningsby. We met the surge requirement operations, logistics, technical and training support for the RAF to deploy Typhoon aircraft at very short notice.  Support was provided by BAE Systems personnel 24/7 across the weekend.

I have seen first-hand that you have delivered at every turn and twist. It is extremely humbling for me to have continuous praise heaped on the UK for your outstanding efforts… Take a moment to reflect on the enormity of what you have all achieved, you are without doubt worthy successors to those who have gone before you. Well done and thank you.

Air Marshall Greg Bagwell endorsed the activity at the time.