£120million investment in UK air power to 'keep UK safe and sustain jobs'

RAF Typhoons
RAF Typhoons

A £120million investment in UK air power will ensure the Armed Forces have the "best equipment and training available" to keep the country safe, the Defence Secretary has said.

Announcing two new contracts, Sir Michael Fallon said the deals would sustain British jobs and improve training for fast jet pilots.

A deal worth £110million has been struck with Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group for work on the Hercules C-130J aircraft to ensure it can continue supporting British forces around the world.

The work will extend the aircraft's out-of-service date to 2035 and sustain 330 jobs in Cambridge.

A £9.5million contract was also signed with defence technology company QinetiQ to provide Typhoon pilots with the "latest cockpit technology to prepare them for front line combat", the Ministry of Defence said.

The technical update will enable crews based at RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Coningsby to link to the Air Battlespace Training Centre at RAF Waddington to undertake 10 weeks of simulated battle training a year.

Speaking at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, Sir Michael said: "These contracts demonstrate our commitment to supporting the UK's air power, through maintaining battle proven aircraft and training the next generation of fast jet pilots.

"This substantial investment will ensure our Air Force can continue to perform at its very best. Backed by our rising defence budget and £178billion equipment plan, these contracts will sustain high skilled jobs in Britain and ensure that our Armed Forces have the best equipment and training available to keep the UK safe."