Raytheon UK has signed a £250 million contract with the Ministry of Defence to provide 11 years of support and sustainment services to the Royal Air Force's Shadow aircraft fleet.
The contract supports Shadow aircraft maintenance, airworthiness management, design organisation and supply chain support. When work begins in April 2019, 200 full-time jobs will be secured at Raytheon's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance hub in North Wales, with an additional 250 sustained within the UK supply chain.
"We are safeguarding and creating skilled aerospace jobs in the UK and strengthening the local economy," said Richard Daniel, chief executive and managing director of Raytheon UK. "Our work in advanced defence and security systems, cyber protection and skilled training ensures our armed forces have the technology they need to keep the UK safe and secure."
Raytheon UK will also support aircraft modification design and integration under the contract, which serves as an enabling agreement to upgrade the aircraft to the Mk2 version.
"We are creating the world's leading hub for advanced ISR platforms in Broughton," said Roland Howell, managing director of airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance at Raytheon UK. "We will work with Team Shadow to make sure we deliver the tactical ISR capability needed for UK defence."
By transitioning integrated support services to Raytheon UK's facilities, availability-focused services will be embedded at RAF Waddington. Capability and upgrade services will be included at Broughton, North Wales.
Raytheon UK will collaborate with the MOD Defence Equipment and Support Fixed Wing Manned Airborne Surveillance delivery team on availability support, modifications and capability upgrades to the fleet.
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said "this £250 million investment will ensure the UK retains its position as a global leader in battlefield intelligence gathering for UK troops and our NATO allies. It is also great news for the economy through the safeguarding of 450 skilled jobs across the country, including 200 in North Wales, confirming the region as a UK centre of excellence for air support."