Bristol-based UK business jet operator Centreline is to provide support to two Falcon 900LX aircraft under a new £80 million contract with Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), a trading entity and joint-defence organisation within the UK Ministry of Defence.
The new aircraft replace four BAe 146 jets currently operated by the UK MoD and will be able to fly further, providing the UK greater opportunity to engage with key allies and partners.
The contract includes the purchase of the two aircraft, two years of initial support plus three option years if required.
DE&S delivery team leader Darren Astall says: “I am incredibly proud of the team for working with great determination and flexibility to deliver these faster and more fuel efficient aircraft. By challenging process and working collaboratively with partners we were able to deliver this programme at remarkable pace.”
The two-phase programme will see the aircraft initially operated by a mixed crew of civilian and RAF personnel. The aircraft will be upgraded with military modifications such as defensive aid suites and military communications to deliver full capability, and will be crewed by RAF personnel.
After four decades of service, two BAe 146 aircraft are being preserved at the British Airliner Collection at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, and the South Wales Aviation Museum at St Athan in South Glamorgan. The remaining two aircraft have been bought by a civilian operator.