Home resistance RAF Hercules Lifespan Extended With £110 Million Boost

RAF Hercules Lifespan Extended With £110 Million Boost

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Two contracts worth nearly £119.5 million have been agreed as part of investments into the Royal Air Force.

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The first deal, worth £110 million, will extend the lifespan of the RAF’s Hercules C-130J aircraft until 2035, with work including a centre wing box replacement.

The transport aircraft has previously supported humanitarian missions in Iraq, Nepal and South Sudan.

The Ministry of Defence has also agreed a contract worth £9.5 million for the Typhoon pilot training programme.

The deal will provide trainees at RAF Waddington with the latest cockpit technology before they are deployed into combat on the front line.

The upgraded equipment means crews at the base’s Air Battlespace Training Centre will be given ten weeks of simulated battle training and scenarios per year, and the capability for instructors to connect to Typhoon training devices at RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Coningsby.

RAF Typhoon jet on exercise in Lithuania

It follows a fresh £40 million investment into the Typhoon’s Defensive Aids Sub System (DASS), which protects it from both enemy planes and missiles launched from the ground.

The Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon announced the contracts while speaking at the Royal International Air Tattoo. He said:

“These contracts demonstrate our commitment to supporting the UK’s air power, through maintaining battle proven aircraft and training the next generation of fast jet pilots.

“This substantial investment will ensure our Air Force can continue to perform at its very best.”

The two deals follows several announcements to the future of the RAF yesterday.

RAF Lossiemouth’s 120 and 201 Squadrons were revealed as those that will operate the UK’s nine new P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft when they arrive in 2020.

Meanwhile, at RAF Marham, Forces News was shown round the site being prepared for the arrival of the F-35B Lightning II aircraft.

Completion of the £250 million project is expected by Christmas 2017.

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