On 30th September 2016, AirTanker reached the final establishment phase milestone in the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) programme with the achievement of Full Service Date (FSD) on time and on budget.
The FSTA programme has been delivered under the largest Private Finance Initiative of its kind in the Defence sector – a 27-year contract through to 2035 that covers the delivery of aircraft as well as the associated infrastructure, service, and support.
The FSD landmark is the culmination of an eight-year delivery phase which has seen AirTanker deliver 14 A330-200 aircraft, which are known as Voyager when in service with the RAF.
The final aircraft, FSTA 14, arrived at RAF Brize Norton in July, completing the aircraft delivery requirements of the FSTA Contract. The fleet of nine core and five surge aircraft, operate in both the military and civil leasing sectors.
Phill Blundell, CEO AirTanker Ltd, said:
“Today is a landmark date for everyone involved in the Voyager programme. Following the contract award to AirTanker by the Ministry of Defence in 2008, the whole AirTanker team has worked tirelessly together with our industry partners and RAF colleagues to deliver this vital capability. The fact that we have done so on time and on budget is testament to that teamwork and commitment”.
Keith Filbey, Managing Director, AirTanker Services, said:
“There is a great sense of pride within the workforce that we have achieved this important contractual milestone and that Voyager continues to deliver exceptionally well, whether in support of global operations or defending UK skies. The first aircraft completed its maiden flight in April 2012 operating for the RAF and since then Voyager has proven its worth time and again. In July this year, the programme reached the milestone of the 10,000th flight across the Voyager Force and our leasing community. We look forward to continuing our support for this vital defence asset”.