MOD agrees £1 billion deal for UK test and training sites

The MOD has agreed a £1bn contract amendment to modernise and run some of its UK test and training sites that will deliver £300M of efficiencies over the next 11 years.

The considerable efficiencies have been made possible through an amendment to the existing Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA) contract with UK company QinetiQ.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin said:

"This new deal will ensure our Armed Forces get world-class training and testing facilities and services while making substantial efficiencies, ensuring excellent value for money for the taxpayer.

"Backed by a rising Defence budget and our £178 billion equipment plan, all three sites will continue to have a major role in supporting our defence capability. This investment will help secure their futures for the longer term."

Under the contract amendment QinetiQ and the MOD have agreed to invest approximately £180 million to modernise air ranges at MOD Aberporth, Wales and MOD Hebrides, Scotland and test aircrew training at MOD Boscombe Down, Wiltshire.

QinetiQ, which employs some 5,500 staff across the UK, will reduce infrastructure costs, modernising equipment and aircraft, and adopt a more strategic approach to the delivery of Test and Evaluation and Training Support capability.

It has also pledged to work with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to foster innovation and develop future skills to help deliver the LTPA.

The Hebrides and Aberporth test and evaluation ranges will be modernised ensuring that these essential capabilities are able to meet the needs of our Armed Forces for the foreseeable future.

At MOD Boscombe Down investment will provide a fleet of modern training aircraft and an up-to-date syllabus for Test Aircrew Training at the world-famous Empire Test Pilots’ School.

Chief Executive Officer of the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Tony Douglas, said:

"The LTPA contract amendment represents a great deal for both the MOD and the UK Defence industry for the next 11 years. It is another example of how DE&S works with UK companies to ensure value for money and the best equipment and support for our Armed Forces."

The LTPA is a 25-year enabling arrangement contract with QinetiQ with a total cost estimated at £5.6 billion, which came into effect on 1 April 2003.

The arrangement covers the costs of running UK test and evaluation ranges, the operational staff that support the ranges and the equipment that they use to support the MOD.