MOD signs £350m engine contract with Rolls-Royce for RAF typhoon jets
By George Ryan, PA Political Reporter
The Ministry of Defence has signed a multimillion-pound contract with Rolls-Royce to maintain the engines that power the UK's fleet of Typhoon fighter jets.
The £346.7 million contract will provide maintenance support for the EJ200 engine up to 2024 as the Typhoon continues to form the backbone of the RAF's fighter jet fleet.
Defence minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: "Not only will this contract help to maintain our world-class jets, it secures 175 jobs across the UK and boosts the skills base our world-leading defence industry relies upon.
"Together with our multimillion-pound upgrade programme, this contract will ensure our Typhoon fleet continues to dominate the skies in the decades to come."
Air Marshal Julian Young, Chief of Materiel, Defence Equipment & Support, said: "Typhoon is a formidable, battle-winning aircraft and the backbone of UK Combat Airpower.
"This new deal on the EJ200 engine is demonstrable evidence that we remain committed to working with our industrial partners to drive down support costs and at the same time pursue excellence and deliver great equipment to the front line."
Already this year, RAF Typhoon jets have been dispatched to Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Shader to lead the fight against Islamic State, or Daesh.
They have also undertaken Baltic Air Policing mission with Nato partners, with further Nato policing missions planned in Iceland later this year.
Since arriving in Estonia on May 3 this year, the fleet has already been scrambled 14 times in response to Russian activity over the Baltic Sea.
Approximately 175 Rolls-Royce jobs in Bristol, RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and RAF Lossiemouth in Moray will be supported as part of the contract.
Rolls-Royce will repair and maintain the Typhoon engines as required by the RAF over the five-year period.
They will also be responsible for the provision of modules, spares and accessories to support the aircraft fleet, including the transportation of the equipment between RAF bases and the Rolls-Royce manufacturing facility in Bristol.
The Typhoon fleet has undergone a £425 million upgrade programme over the last three years.