BAE Systems is to begin delivering electrical power to the first Nimrod MRA4 maritime patrol aircraft as the troubled programme starts to show signs of recovery. The UK Royal Air Force is to receive 21 MRA4s, a major modification of the in-service Nimrod MR2. The eighth airframe for rebuild arrived at BAE's Woodford factory in late October.

Nimrod MRA4s have new wings, with Rolls-Royce BR710 engines replacing R-R's Spey, new aircraft systems and a tactical system from Boeing. Problems with rebuilding the elderly fuselages and fitting the wings led to the aircraft's in-service date slipping from April 2003 to December 2004.

BAE is completing the cockpit and other systems of the first MRA4 and the next major milestone is applying power to the systems within weeks.


Source: Flight International