Shawbury Air Force Base is the first to have a multi-million pound air traffic control system

Air traffic controller at RAF Shawbury

Designed to ensure safe and resilient military air operations, the contract will be deployed to more than 60 Department of Defense sites in the UK and overseas by 2024, including Cyprus, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.

North Shropshire Air Force Base, home to the Helicopter Central Flying School, is the first to benefit from cutting-edge technology that Aquila Air Traffic Management says supports 300 jobs.

The equipment gives controllers better situational awareness, improving flight safety, with digital upgrades including touchscreen communications, clearer radar images, and improved flight information and positioning, all available on enhanced controller consoles.

Defense Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: “Ensuring that our drones, fighters, helicopters and cargo planes operate safely and efficiently to maintain our capabilities and support our service personnel. This state-of-the-art system is another example of how we put innovation at the forefront of everything we do.

Squadron Leader Steve Leech, Senior Air Traffic Control Officer at RAF Shawbury, said: “As the first unit to move into full operational service, the past year has understandably been a time of change. challenging and exciting. I am extremely proud of my team who transformed this state-of-the-art equipment into an operational capability.

“By working in an increasingly close partnership with Aquila, controllers and rights holders now have a much deeper understanding of the air traffic management surveillance solution than ever before. “

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 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, CEO of Defense Equipment & Support, said: “This is a key milestone in a program that is vital for frontline capabilities. It is a great example of DE&S, RAF and industry working together to provide the military with the technology needed to do their jobs safely and efficiently.

Michael Stoller, Chairman and CEO of Aquila, said: “The entry into operational service of the complete Marshall ATM solution at RAF Shawbury marks the achievement of a milestone in the Marshall program. This new technology will transform air traffic management for our military in the UK and overseas and enable our customers to realize significant operational benefits and savings. “

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