NATS Services, Thales UK and VT Group have signed an agreement to bid for the MoD Joint Military Air Traffic Services programme.
Under the name AQUILA Air Traffic Management Services, the three companies seek to satisfy the requirements of the Joint Military Air Traffic Services (JMATS) programme, which will deliver enhanced capability and significant through-life cost savings in military air traffic management (ATM).
The programme, consisting of ATM systems and services, will be delivered at all of the MoD-operated airbases and flying ranges in the UK and overseas — also providing an out of area ATM capability in support of expeditionary air operations.
AQUILA has been formed following the signing of a teaming agreement between the three companies, initially to address the UK JMATS programme. The programme extends over 22 years.
NATS Services chief executive, Lawrence Hoskins, said: “We believe the AQUILA team is uniquely well placed to deliver a safe and secure solution for the MOD’s military ATM requirements. We offer unrivalled pedigree and experience in both civil and military markets and we are completely aligned in our commitment to this.”
Thales UK CEO, Alex Dorrian, added: “This programme requires an innovative approach to fulfil the long-term needs of military air traffic control and AQUILA brings together the right combination of companies with the necessary technical skills and service ethos.”
VT Group chief executive, Paul Lester, said: “JMATS is about ensuring the best technology and value-for-money service. The shareholders of AQUILA offer the through-life capability and proven performance that the MoD is seeking.”
A pre-qualification questionnaire for the JMATS programme is expected to be issued by the MoD this year in the initial stage of a competition that is expected to see the service starting in 2013.