Rolls-Royce wins Saudi Tornado support deal

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Rolls-Royce has been awarded a four-year contract to provide in-service support for the RB199 engines which power the Royal Saudi Air Force's fleet of Panavia Tornado combat aircraft.

Signed in support of the Saudi British Defence Co-operation Programme, the deal covers "the repair of modules, accessories and components and a package of new spares for the Tornado's RB199 engines," R-R says in a 16 January statement. Some of the repair work will be undertaken in the Riyadh facilities of the Middle East Propulsion Company, it adds.

The new arrangement also "enables the Royal Saudi Air Force to benefit from a schedule of fixed-price maintenance, which seeks to reduce the cost of engine operations," R-R says.

Saudi Arabia's Tornado inventory comprises 82 aircraft in the interdictor strike variant, according to Flightglobal's World Air Forces directory for 2013.

Meanwhile, R-R on 11 January opened a new service delivery centre for the RB199 at the UK Royal Air Force's Marham base in Norfolk, with the facility to support the service's Tornado GR4 fleet. The new centre will increase aircraft availability rates and reduce operating costs for the RAF, the company says.