Page last updated at 17:36 GMT, Thursday, 23 April 2009 18:36 UK

MoD contract boost for RAF base

Harrier
The contract to maintain the jets will run until 2018

About 300 civilian jobs at an RAF base in Rutland are secured following the announcement of a £574m deal to maintain Harrier aircraft at the site.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded BAE Systems the contract to repair and provide technical support for the jets at RAF Cottesmore.

The contract will run for nine years until the jump jets are withdrawn from service in 2018.

RAF Cottesmore is the main operating base for the Harrier fleet.

The jets currently undertake close air support to troops on the ground and surveillance reconnaissance roles in Afghanistan.

MoD Defence Equipment and Support Harrier team leader Group Captain Andy Ebdon said: "Today's announcement is great news for the future support of Harrier.

"It is a testament to the tremendous sustained effort by the MoD and industry to build on the successes already achieved.

"Joint Force Harrier is now assured of cost-effective support throughout its remaining service."

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About 10% of Rutland's population works at RAF Cottesmore



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