First RAF Typhoon undergoes major BAE Systems maintenance
BAE Systems has announced that it has completed the first ever ‘major’ maintenance on a Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon aircraft, after the aircraft had clocked up 1600 flying hours. The maintenance was conducted under the Typhoon Availability Service (TAS) contract, which was awarded to BAE Systems in 2009.
The aircraft, ZJ921, has now been returned to 3 Squadron, based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. ZJ921 was one of the aircraft to fly out to Gioia Dell Colle in Italy, to support Op Ellamy over Libya.
The TAS contract, issued by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), consists of a joint BAE Systems and RAF team and ensures the UK’s fleet of Typhoon aircraft remain ready for operational duties, anywhere in the world.
According to BAE Systems, maintenance work involves a complete ‘strip-down’ of the aircraft to enable detailed inspections to be performed by the specially trained engineers. Any repairs and modifications are also performed on the aircraft at this time before the aircraft is prepared ready to return to duty.
The first set of maintenance work known as a ‘primary maintenance’ is undertaken once the aircraft has flown 400 hours, followed by a ‘minor maintenance’ which is carried out at 800 flying hours. Once the aircraft reaches the 1600 flying hour threshold the ‘major’ maintenance – as conducted on ZJ921- is then carried out.
Martin Taylor, combat air support director at BAE Systems said: ‘The completion of the first RAF Typhoon aircraft to undergo a major maintenance is a significant milestone for us under the TAS contract. The team is continually improving processes and procedures, as part of the contract deliverables, to ensure this complex frontline fighter aircraft is available for operational duty and that the RAF’s flying timetable remains on schedule. This achievement is a good example of how this hard work is delivering results.’
The Typhoon Maintenance Facility at RAF Coningsby currently has a further 3 aircraft in the facility undergoing major maintenance.
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