Some 300 positions at Aquila’s air traffic management system have been secured, including 150 at its base in Whiteley, thanks to the agreement.
Aquila has been developing advanced technology since 2014, having won the contract from the Ministry of Defense.
Now, after years of hard work, it is finally operational with RAF Shawbury this week becoming the first air base to receive the high tech system.
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The new system is designed to improve the safety of military air operations, by integrating the latest technology and equipment into the existing infrastructure.
Variants of the kit will be deployed to more than 60 MoD sites in the UK and overseas by 2024, including Cyprus, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.
The new equipment allows controllers to have better situational awareness through improved radar and computer systems.
Jeremy Quin, Minister of Defense Procurement, said: “Ensuring that our drones, fighter jets, helicopters and cargo planes operate safely and efficiently is essential to maintaining our capabilities and supporting our service personnel.
“This state-of-the-art system is another example of how we put innovation at the forefront of everything we do.”
The £ 1.5 billion program, known as Marshall, delivers improved reliability, quality of service and cost savings by using Aquila’s engineering teams to maintain the equipment.
The scheme is expected to save the UK taxpayer up to £ 317million over the next 22 years.
The announcement was greeted by Councilor Sean Woodward, Head of Fareham Borough Council, who said: “This is great news. These are well paying, highly skilled jobs.
Michael Stoller, CEO of Aquila, called the development of the program a “major milestone”.
“This new technology will transform air traffic management for our military in the UK and abroad and enable our customers to realize significant operational benefits and cost savings,” he said.
The air traffic system includes a £ 400million investment in advanced surveillance radars and a wide range of sophisticated equipment such as tower systems, new surveillance and navigation aids and radios.
Sir Simon Bollom, Managing Director of DE&S, the procurement arm of the Department of Defense, said: “This is a key milestone in a program which is vital for frontline capabilities. It’s a great example of DE&S, RAF and industry working together to provide the military with the technology they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently. ‘
Aquila is a joint venture between NATS, an international provider of air traffic control services, and the French defense company Thales.