Under a new £80 million (USD108 million) contract with Bristol-based Centreline, four BAe 146 aircraft will be replaced by two more sustainable aircraft to continue the UK’s global engagement. The new planes will be more sustainable thanks to their smaller engines, leading to a reduction in fuel burn and emissions. They will also be able to fly further, providing the UK greater opportunity to engage with key allies and partners. The contract with Centreline includes the purchase of both Dassault Falcon 900LX aircraft, two years of initial support plus three option years if required.
DE&S CEO Sir Simon Bollom said: “I am incredibly proud of the team at DE&S who have worked innovatively and at pace to negotiate a contract that is exceptional value for money and ensures this critical capability is available.”
Darren Astall, delivery team leader at DE&S, said: “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 program at a remarkable pace.”
The Dassault 900LX was successful in this competition as the stand-out candidate in performance, cost value, and time requirements. The two-phase program 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 be crewed by purely RAF personnel. The Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper set out a bold and global vision stressing the importance of soft power, enhancing our international presence, developing current relationships, and building new ones.
The Dassault Falcon 900 is a French-built corporate trijet aircraft made by Dassault Aviation. The Falcon 900 is a development of the Falcon 50, itself a development of the earlier Falcon 20. The Falcon 900 design incorporates composite materials and an S-duct to feed the central engine. Other models include the Falcon 900-B, featuring an increased range, and the Falcon 900EX featuring other improvements in engines and range and an all-glass flight deck. The Falcon 900C is a companion to the Falcon 900EX and replaces the Falcon 900B. Later versions are the Falcon 900EX EASy and the Falcon 900DX. At EBACE 2008, Dassault announced another development of the 900 series: the Falcon 900LX, incorporating high Mach blended winglets designed by Aviation Partners Inc.