The UK Royal Air Force has signed a 10-year £60-million deal which should see Tornado down-time reduced 10-fold and take the financial burden of unavailability from the tax-payer.

In what it calls a 'flagship' contract, which could become a model for government/industry partnerships in the UK and overseas, aerospace supplier Claverham will make money on every hour the Tornado fleet flies, rather than on the time aircraft are out of action.

During trials over the past two years, Claverham has reduced Tornado flying restrictions, due to unavailability of flying control units which power the rudder and ailerons, from around 180 to 200 a year to 18 a year.

As a result during last December's Desert Fox operation none of the 12 Tornadoes used was designated unavailable for combat through a rudder or aileron failure.

Source: Flight Daily News