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Bombardier/Grob selected for RAF contract

Bombardier Services has been selected by the UK Ministry of Defence as the preferred bidder for the Royal Air Force light aircraft flying task contract, with Grob Aircraft's G115D having been chosen as the replacement for the RAF's fleet of Scottish Aviation Bulldog trainer aircraft.

The 10-year contract, which has yet to be signed, requires Belfast, Northern Ireland-based Bombardier Services to provide and maintain more than 90 G115s, as well as up to 50,000 flying hours a year to the university air squadrons and air cadets.

The news has been welcomed by Germany's Grob, which is preparing to restart production at its Mindelheim plant.

The decision to select Bombardier had been delayed for months because of political wrangling over the RAF's preference for the G115 over the locally built Slingsby Aviation Firefly M260.

The award puts a question mark over the future of Cobham-owned Slingsby.