Rolls-Royce slashes RAF engine repair costs

Posted on 11 Jan 2013
Tornado aircraft. Photography by Tony Evans.
Tornado aircraft. Photography by Tony Evans.

Engine-maker Rolls-Royce has opened its first service delivery centre to support military engines at the RAF's Norfolk base after slashing maintenance costs and increasing the number of aircraft available for combat.

Engine-maker Rolls-Royce has opened its first service delivery centre to support military engines at the RAF’s Norfolk base after slashing maintenance costs and increasing the number of aircraft available for combat.

A small team of Rolls-Royce engineers will work alongside the RAF at the new centre in Marham, Norfolk, to deliver support services for engines on Tornado combat aircraft.

The service delivery centre features live video links to the Rolls-Royce operations centre in Bristol, enabling real-time decision making on engine issues to increase aircraft availability for missions.

Rolls-Royce supports the Tornado’s RB199 engines under its operational contract, which it says has halved the cost of engine support for the RAF.

The support model was tested by the need to surge engine output in support of Operation Ellamy, the UK operation enforcing a no-fly zone in Libya in 2011, and delivered all customer requirements.

Rolls-Royce is implementing support services for over 100 military customers around the world as maintenance, repair and overhaul is increasingly outsourced to the companies that designed and made the equipment. Services such as this new make up 60% of revenue at Rolls-Royce.

“This new service delivery centre is an excellent example of Rolls-Royce and the Royal Air Force working in close partnership at the heart of our customer’s operations,” said John Rishton, chief executive at Rolls-Royce.

“It will enable us to maximise engine time on-wing and improve response times on critical operational decisions.”