Following on from the signature of the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) contract a year ago today, AirTanker Services (ATrS) has been engaged in the delivery of the key infrastructure and detailed development of the FSTA service. From the Air Tanker press office;
ATrS is now pleased to announce that the first programme milestones have been achieved on time or, in some cases, ahead of schedule.
These successes include:
- The infrastructure building programme at RAF Brize Norton has transformed a selection of pre-1960 RAF amenities into modern, updated facilities. In mid-November 2008, ATrS completed and handed over these re-provided facilities at RAF Brize Norton. These included bulk diesel and waste fuel tanks, air side motor transport parking, wash pan drainage facilities, and petrol, oil and lubricants store.
- Work has started on the next stage of the FSTA service infrastructure: the construction of a two-bay hangar and associated workshops. Backing on to the hangar, on four floors, will be the office accommodation for the RAF’s two FSTA Squadrons, the MOD’s Integrated Project Team and AirTanker personnel
- Training and Information Systems development work is well under way, with good progress and all contract milestones achieved to programme
- The recruitment drive to build up the ATrS team with experienced, highly competent personnel has been successful with over 30 new recruits delivering good results
- The ATrS team has relocated its HQ from Bristol, to Carterton, Oxfordshire, on the doorstep of RAF Brize Norton
- To optimise overall business delivery, the ATrS team has established strong collaborative relationships with its strategic partners
- All essential business processes have been established and externally validated through the award of ISO 9001:2008 accreditation in March 2009.
Whilst ATrS is primarily involved with establishing the support solution for FSTA, it is pleasing to note that the aircraft development programme is also on schedule. On 25 February 2009, the first FSTA wingset was completed at Airbus UK’s Broughton factory.
Witnessed by Quentin Davies MP, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, the wings were loaded onto a Beluga aircraft for their onward journey to Bremen, Germany, for final equipping and then Toulouse, France, for final assembly.
Dave Mitchard, Managing Director of ATrS, said: “I am delighted to be in a position to announce these early successes in the delivery of the FSTA programme. I am really proud of our highly motivated and results-orientated team, who have hit the ground running. We are all committed to building on these achievements and will strive to deliver the next project milestones in equally good time.
“Working with the MOD at RAF Brize Norton has been a most rewarding experience and we look forward to continuing to develop these positive relationships.
“The FSTA programme will provide the MOD and the RAF with the most advanced air transport and refuelling equipment, representing a step-change in performance. The new Airbus A330 FSTA fleet will deliver unrivalled levels of capability, and AirTanker Services, working with the MOD, will put in place the new fleet and service.”