Jeppesen recently contracted with UK-based Babcock International Group (formerly VT Group) and Geneva-based APM Technologies SA to provide AirTanker with the delivery, test and support of an integrated Air Operations Center solution for the Royal Air Force fleet of 14 converted Airbus A330 tanker aircraft that will form the future transport and refueling fleet for the UK Ministry of Defense. AirTanker is a UK company created to deliver the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) service to the Ministry of Defense, under a 27-year Private Finance Initiative contract.
Working under the auspices of the FSTA program, Jeppesen and its partner APM will provide a fully integrated flight planning, fleet management, flight following, crew scheduling and financial management Air Operations Center (AOC) solution on behalf of Babcock International. The Jeppesen AOC solution will also interact with maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), back office and training systems of the AirTanker program at their facility at RAF Brize Norton, UK.
The initial aircraft is due to be delivered to the RAF in late-2011, and the remaining aircraft will be phased in over the following five years. When at full service delivery in 2016, the Airbus A330 AirTanker fleet will provide both transport and air-to-air refueling services for the UK Ministry of Defense. Delivery of an overall Fleet Operations System (FOPS) is the responsibility of Babcock International. The system will also manage the fleet utilization, crew management, financial performance and flight planning of the FSTA fleet.
“The Jeppesen Air Operations Center solution will serve as a vital component of the Fleet Operations System for the Royal Air Force Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft Program,” said John Kinsman, director, Jeppesen Military Client Management. “Jeppesen is providing a proven, industry-leading software solution from our Professional Services organization to meet program requirements and to support the Royal Air Force’s dedication to modernizing their tanker fleet.”
As part of the development process, the Jeppesen Air Operations Center solution ensures a lengthy and expertly designed test and evaluation timeframe to deploy and test multiple versions of the integrated software in a non-operational environment. Jeppesen has partnered with APM Technologies of Geneva, Switzerland who provide sophisticated fleet and crew scheduling, situational awareness and financial modeling software modules that will support the program’s overall solution. Jeppesen and APM Technologies had previously deployed a similar system for the RAF at Brize Norton to manage their current airlift and tanker operations.
This initial agreement with Babcock International also provides Jeppesen with the opportunity to license flight planning and integration technology through a 21-year follow-on support and maintenance contract to begin in 2011 and for APM the opportunity to license for the same period the fleet management, flight following, crew scheduling and financial management aspects which are developed by APM together with their integration technology.
For more information on the industry-leading navigation, operations, training and optimization solutions provided by Jeppesen, please visit our military aviation services site.
For 75 years Jeppesen has made it possible for pilots and their passengers to safely and efficiently reach their destinations. Today this pioneering spirit continues as Jeppesen delivers essential information and optimization solutions to improve the efficiency of air, sea and rail operations around the globe. Jeppesen is a subsidiary of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, a unit of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. For additional information, visit www.jeppesen.com.
About APM Technologies SA
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, APM is a trusted partner worldwide to many aviation organisations both military and civil as a single-source provider of aviation management solutions. APM offers a sophisticated suite of fully integrated software tools to schedule aircraft fleets and crews, control the day of operation flight watch activities, deliver situational awareness and at the same time, calculate operational financials both pre, and post flight. These empower users to achieve optimum operating and financial performance boosting mission effectiveness and maximising productivity. For further information about APM please visit www.apmtechnologies.com
AirTanker was created in 2008 to deliver the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft service to the UK Ministry of Defence, which will provide the Royal Air Force with a reliable, safe and efficient Air Transport (AT) and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) service over 24 years.
The FSTA service will use 14 new, specially converted, state-of-the-art Airbus A330-200 aircraft, each of which will be capable of carrying passengers with associated freight or aero medical patients in addition to its AAR role. As well as reducing overall running costs and significantly improving reliability, the aircraft will have considerably less impact on the environment than its predecessors. The first aircraft is due to be delivered in late 2011.
The FSTA programme covers all aspects of an integrated aircraft service, ranging from the provision of the infrastructure, a full flight crew and engineer training service, through to aircraft maintenance, despatch and ground support. It will combine best practice from civil aviation with RAF operational expertise and military ethos to create a most efficient and effective operational solution for the RAF.
The FSTA service will be provided by AirTanker under fixed pricing arrangements with clear performance indicators. The MOD will only pay for the service once it is available and then only for the capacity that it uses, subject to agreed minimum usage levels.
AirTanker has five shareholders, who are also primary sub-contractors for the programme. They are: EADS (aircraft manufacture and initial conversion); Cobham (refuelling equipment and aircraft conversion); Rolls-Royce (engine assembly, support and project management); Thales UK (mission simulators, defensive aids, avionics and mission planning systems); and Babcock International (infrastructure and communications/information systems, design, build and support, and certain elements of technical support to the aircraft). For further information about AirTanker Services and the FSTA programme, please visit www.airtanker.co.uk.