AERALIS, the transformational British military jet developer, has signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AirTanker to evaluate opportunities for an aircraft service offering in the light fast jet defence market. Following AERALIS’ recent award of a multi-million pound digital engineering services contract from the UK Ministry of Defence, the MoU with AirTanker will assess upcoming contracts in military flying training and also defence operational training and combat air support roles. AERALIS and AirTanker will examine models with the capability to transform the full spectrum of fast jet pilot training, enhancing efficiency throughout the training pipeline and ensuring customers receive the scale and quality of aircrew required to operate tomorrow’s front-line combat air systems.
The MoU covers a range of services that AirTanker can offer, such as collaboration with overseas partners and establishing local service provision. The MoU will involve the sharing of information and regular progress updates, as well as joint workshops to explore future collaboration opportunities. The agreement aims to use the AERALIS programme to achieve significantly lower financing, acquisition and operating costs for aircraft compared to incumbents, paving the way for enabling a wide range of ‘on-demand’ operational air support services as part of the future of air force fleets. This follows on from a successful year for AERALIS. The British jet developer signed partnerships with several companies building towards the ultimate delivery of the aircraft, including Thales UK, Atkins, Siemens, Martin-Baker and Hamble Aerostructures.
AERALIS’s founder & CEO Tristan Crawford said: “AERALIS are delighted to have signed this Memorandum of Understanding with AirTanker, marking an important step in AERALIS going to market not only with a transformation aircraft system but also with a disruptive aircraft service offering. In the coming years this will have the potential to transform the operating economics of defence light jet aviation, releasing sorely needed capacity and capability for military customers across a number of domains.”
AirTanker’s CEO Phill Blundell said: “We are excited to be collaborating with the AERALIS team on this transformative programme and bring our expertise of supporting and delivering complex military operating solutions into the project at this developmental stage.”
AERALIS also signed an MoU with Rolls-Royce to explore initial and future options to meet the company’s propulsion requirements, and opened its first facility, the AERALIS Enterprise Hub, in the Bristol Defence & Aerospace cluster earlier this year. AERALIS is currently in Phase Two of a three-year contract with the Royal Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office. AirTanker is a flexible and responsive world leading aviation service provider. The company’s capability spans across end-to-end maintenance, military and civil flying programmes, training and major aircraft upgrades. In 2008, AirTanker signed a 27-year contract with the Ministry of Defence to deliver and support 14 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, which operate as Voyager while in RAF service.