UK buys Dassault 900LX to replace BAe 146 command support transport fleet
The UK has announced it has struck a deal with aircraft management specialists Centreline to acquire two new Dassault 900LX trijets.
In a 8 February statement Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) said that the £80 million contract signed with the company included both aircraft, two years of support and a option for a further three years if required.
‘Dassault 900LX was successful in this competition as the stand out candidate in performance, cost value and time requirements,’ DE&S noted.
The two aircraft have been bought to replace a fleet of four BAe 146 types and as part of the UK’s Command Support Air Transport Recapitalisation (CSAT Recap) acquisition.
An original tender for the acquisition, released on 28 October 2021, called on industry bidders to put forward aircraft that can achieve a minimum unrefuelled range of 3,850nm from an unrestricted airfield and transport up to eight passengers.
The 900LX boosts a range of 4,750nm carrying six passengers and two aircrew, according to Dassault company literature.
CSAT Recap requirements also include a chosen contractor committing to deliver up to 980 flying hours in year one and up to 1200 in year two.
‘The Aircraft may initially be based from an Operating Base of the Contractor’s choosing or RAF Northolt (NHT) but must transition to RAF NHT (which will become the Main Operating Base (MOB)) by Phase 1 Full Operating Capability (FOC),’ noted the original tender.
Under CSAT Recap Phase Two a new acquisition will be introduced to source a contractor capable of carrying out military modifications on the 900LX aircraft from 2024 onward.
The aircraft are to be used mainly to transport members of the royal family, government ministers and MoD civilian personnel.
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