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Joint Harrier Team Slashes Cottesmore Turnaround Times

29 Jul 2004

Reductions of up to 75 per cent in Harrier repair turnaround times, plus average cost savings of 25 per cent, are resulting from the work of a joint BAE SYSTEMS/Defence Logistics Organisation maintenance and repairs team.

In January 2003 a Harrier 'pulse line' facility was established at RAF Cottesmore to reduce the turn-around time for aircraft maintenance. A key aim was cut the time taken to design and implement Harrier aircraft repairs.

A pilot programme was established next to the 'pulse line' hangar. The team included Royal Air Force personnel, plus BAE Systems Customer Solutions & Support design and structures engineers who were able to respond with 'on-the-spot' engineering advice and designs for repairs.

This new integrated organisation achieved reductions of up to 75 per cent in turn-around time for design authority-approved repairs. It also realised corresponding cost savings, typically 25 per cent lower than the traditional post-design services approach.

The pilot programme was unsustainable in the long term and so a new partnership, the Joint Repair Organisation (JRO), was established. The JRO brings together RAF, Royal Navy and BAE Systems CS&S people and remains based at RAF Cottesmore. The JRO is able to carry out full repair design, kit supply and embodiment activities for all types of UK Harrier aircraft.

The JRO is now operating under an incentivised contract, running through to the Harrier out-of-service date (currently 2015). Under a gain-share arrangement BAE Systems CS&S and the MOD will both benefit from future cost savings that occur through further working practice improvements.

The team responsible has just received a BAE Systems Chairman's Award for Innovation Silver award.

'The JRMT/JRO approach has demonstrated the positive benefits to be gained from working in close partnership with the customer and provides a model for similar collaborative schemes within the company, ' said BAE Systems director joint force operations Nigel Davey.

About the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO)

The DLO is the largest single organisation within MOD and provides integrated logistic support and information services to the front-line and across the Department at best value for Defence.

Defence Logistics (Strike) Domain is part of the DLO, and provides air logistic support to all three Armed Services: RAF, Royal Navy and Army. It supports over 1,000 aircraft in some 30 fleets. Defence Logistics (Strike) employs around 4,000 people across the UK and overseas. With an annual budget of some 4 billion (approximately 7.5 per cent of the defence budget) over 90 per cent is spent with industry on the purchase of spares, repairs and post-design services. The majority of contracts are with UK-based companies.

About Customer Solutions & Support:

Customer Solutions & Support employs over 14,800 people at 40 locations and provides through-life support and services across the air, sea and land sectors.

CS&S supports customers' capability in areas such as training; facilities management; spares and repairs; technical information services; manpower services; supply chain and logistics management; and upgrades, maintenance, repair and overhaul.

CS&S manages support and services programmes worldwide including a broad range of contracts in Australia and the key Saudi Arabian Al Yamamah programme. CS&S is also working closely with the UK Ministry Of Defence to reduce the cost of support and training without compromising front-line efficiency.


BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the development, delivery and support of advanced defence and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea and in space. The company designs, manufactures and supports military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics and guided weapon system> s. It is a pioneer in technology with a heritage stretching back hundreds of years. It is at the forefront of innovation, working to develop the next generation of intelligent defence systems.

BAE Systems has major operations across five continents and customers in some 130 countries. The company has more than 90,000 people and generates annual sales of approximately 12 billion through its wholly-owned and joint venture operations.

BAE SYSTEMS, innovating for a safer world.

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