We have a dedicated team of 20-plus deployed to the Falkland Islands, who are responsible for providing maintenance support on the RAF’s fleet on Typhoon aircraft.
The team, under the guidance of Paul ‘Spike’ Rhodes, is keeping the RAF airborne with an on-site service over a 10-month stint which started in January 2014.
Supporting the customer
Rather than fly their aircraft home for the necessary running checks and repairs, and take out a temporary replacement at an estimated combined cost of £10 million, the RAF have the technical support delivered to them under a contract agreed between us and the MOD in 2009.
With the fast jet fleet requiring a service every 500 flying hours, the aircraft are booked in for maintenance and a software upgrade that is created back in the UK.
The effectiveness of the completion of the maintenance by an independent autonomous team cannot be underestimated. Flt Lt Catherine Hall, 1435 Flt (the RAF unit based in the Falkland’s)
Life away from home
Spotting penguins, elephant seals and albatross, along with weekends crammed with watching the football, help our 20-plus team of maintenance staff pass the time during the long months spent 8,000 miles away from home in the Falkland Islands.
It can be a harsh environment in which to life for the team and home comforts tend to be missed. They live on a military base in 30-year-old accommodation and the weather is usually ideal for penguins! Hotspot areas can also causes issuing with Wi-Fi connection with 20-plus people vying for some time to talk to friends and family.
The main thing keeping us occupied here is the work. That’s the priority and the mind-set is to get the aircraft out. Paul ‘Spike’ Rhodes, BAE Systems General Manager Falkland Islands, And also a former RAF mechanic on Harrier jets, who was previously stationed with the RAF in the Falklands in 1983.
Proud to be British
Whilst living away from home can be challenging, the warmth of the locals is never in doubt. Proudly British, they throw down the welcome mat for our team. This is also shared by the RAF, who also values the presence of our team in keeping them primed for the duties they perform in the South Atlantic.
There is real co-operation between the serviceman and BAE Systems and we couldn’t achieve anything without the support we receive from everyone. Paul ‘Spike’ Rhodes, BAE Systems General Manager Falkland Islands
Meet the customer
Flt Lt Catherine Hall, from 1435 Flt (the RAF unit based in the Falkland’s) talked to us about our teams’ deployment to the Falkland Islands and what life is like in the challenging environment.
Read the case study here >>