Marshall Aviation Services wins top award from UK Ministry of Defence

29th November 2013

BAe 146 C Mk 3

Marshall Aviation Services has today been awarded one of the highest accolades from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for its part in the conversion of two BAe 146-200QC (Quick Change) aircraft from commercial to military aircraft configuration for use by the Royal Air Force.

Known as the Minister (DEST) Acquisition Award 2013, it is the highest accolade within the MoD that an individual or team can receive for acquisition excellence. This award was given to both the industrial team, led by BAE Systems Regional Aircraft, and its principal sub-contractor Marshall Aviation Services, and the teams within the MoD that masterminded the procurement, military certification, operational aspects and entry into service of the aircraft.

The two aircraft, known in RAF service as the BAe 146 C Mk.3, were converted under an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) contract awarded to BAE Systems Regional Aircraft for use in the extraction phase of the current Afghanistan campaign – Operation Herrick.

BAE Systems was responsible for the design and integration of the equipment to be fitted to the aircraft, the sourcing of the equipment, management of the supply chain and overall management of the conversion programme. The actual conversion was carried out at the Marshall Aviation Services (formerly Hawker Beechcraft Ltd) facility at Broughton in North Wales under sub-contract to BAE Systems.

Mark Taylor, Business Director Engineering of BAE Systems Regional Aircraft at Prestwick, and Jason Davies, General Manager of Marshall Aviation Services, received their awards on behalf of their teams from Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology (Min DEST) at a ceremony in the MoD Main Building Memorial Courtyard.

Steve Fitz-Gerald, Chief Executive Officer at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, commented: “At Marshall we are committed to delivering engineering excellence and the recent acquisition of Hawker Beechcraft Ltd is a demonstration of our focus to build on our already extensive capabilities in the conversion, modification, maintenance and support of civil, military and commercial aircraft.”

“This award is amongst the most prestigious within the MoD and is testament to the dedication of the team – I am thrilled that their hard work and that of the ‘project team’ has been recognised for the conversion and on-time, on-budget delivery of these aircraft. We are tremendously proud of this achievement as it demonstrates the capabilities that are now part of Marshall Aviation Services.”

Mark Taylor said: “The success of this extensive conversion programme, which was carried out on time and on budget, is due to the excellent teamwork from all parties which meant the aircraft entered service on the due date. It is now on active duty in Afghanistan and is proving to be reliable, efficient, flexible and popular.”

Among the military equipment fitted was a Defensive Aids System to enable these UOR aircraft to be protected to appropriate levels for aircraft in theatre in Afghanistan. Also installed was a Successor Identification Friend or Foe (SIFF) system.

A number of other upgrades were also installed including HF and UHF radio communications systems and a satellite communications system. An armoured flight deck was incorporated along with fuel tank inertion, air conditioning upgrades and a fire protection system in the baggage bay.

Both aircraft are assigned to the RAF’s 32 (The Royal) Squadron which already operates two BAe 146 CC Mk 2 aircraft, primarily in the VIP transport role from RAF Northolt in north-west London.