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”
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 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.
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.
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.
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.