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Gloucestershire Business News

BAE Systems launch 2021 with major contracts

BAE Systems has started the year by securing a series of contracts with the US military.

BAE, which has a base in Brockworth, is a subcontractor to supply logistics support on a nine-year agreement for the US Marine Corps' AV-8B Harrier II fleet.

That follows a $4million rapid response contract for the next generation of US Navy aircraft and the awarding of a US Air Force contract for a 10th successive time.

The contract for the US Navy Harrier fleet - worth a total of $123million - will see BAE work with Vertex Aerospace to support training and combat operations. and builds on an existing role in maintaining the plane's reaction control system.

Senior vice president Tom Fillingham said: "The Harrier is one of the most iconic military air fact with its British designed short take-off and vertical landing technology.

"Our expertise with the aircraft goes back 40 years and this new contract with Vertex Aerospace ensures we can continue to apply our expertise to support the US Marine Corps."

The US Navy contract will see BAE design, build and integrate a radio frequency countermeasure system for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft in around five months ahead of flight testing.

BAE Systems has been awarded the Air Force contract since 1991 and the latest agreement - worth $66.6million over five years - is the largest to date.

It will involve the implementation of an innovative cloud-based technology suite to enhance predictive analytics.

Chief executive Charles Woodburn told Defense News Outlook the industry has a role to play in 2021 to support the economic recovery with work on the Tempest fighter among the key projects.

He said: "In the UK, the announcement of increased funding for the Ministry of Defence provides welcome stability.

"The submission of the outline business case for Tempest is another significant step in this hugely exciting project to deliver a next generation future combat air system.

"Working with our partners and supply chain, we're using cutting-edge technologies to transform how we design, develop and manufacture, helping to reduce time and cost."

He continued: "We'll ramp up the number of people we have working on the program through 2021, including apprentices and graduates, as part of our commitment to recruit 1,250 trainees across the UK, despite the pandemic."

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