BAE Systems Wins £15.5 Million MoD Contract for BAe 146 Conversions for the Royal Air Force

The two aircraft will be used to augment in-theatre tactical aircraft numbers, particularly the Lockheed C130 Hercules force, during the upcoming extraction phase of Operation Herrick, the current Afghanistan campaign.

Dubbed the BAe 146M, or the Avro RJM for the later production variant, the aircraft is seen as attractive to Air Forces who operate ageing turboprop and jet airliners that are currently used for transport and communications tasks. It is estimated that there are currently over 1700 such aircraft in service with nearly 150 air arms and many of these aircraft are in excess of 40 years old.

BAE Systems believes the BAe 146M/Avro RJM could also be used by Air Forces to complement existing fleets of tactical airlifters such as C130 Hercules, by taking on a wide variety of non tactical air transport roles, thereby prolonging the fatigue life on ageing tactical assets. The BAe 146M/Avro RJM, however, has a performance capability that means it can realistically undertake some of the more challenging air transport support roles, including operations from unpaved runways.

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