Eye in the sky Sentinel funding to secure 120 Lincolnshire jobs at RAF Waddington

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A new contract to support the RAF’s Sentinel surveillance aircraft will sustain around 120 jobs at RAF Waddington near Lincoln over the next five years.

The Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin has announced a £131.5 million support contract with Raytheon UK.

The deal will provide the Sentinel aircraft with in-service support and maintenance, meaning it can continue to meet the RAF’s operational requirements.

With the ability to gather intelligence on enemy movements and track specific targets, the Sentinel is central in the UK’s operations against Daesh in Syria and Iraq.

The new contract to provide support for the aircraft for the next five years is expected to sustain around 120 jobs at RAF Waddington and 40 roles at Hawarden Airfield near Broughton, North Wales.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin said:

“Sentinel aircraft provide vital intelligence to our armed forces, giving them the ability to make decisions that helps keep Britain safe, including on current operations against Daesh.

“As part of our £178 billion equipment plan, this contract is supported by a defence budget that will rise every year until the end of the decade, meeting the NATO commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence.

“This new support contract will sustain 160 jobs across the UK and demonstrates the very tangible benefits which defence is bringing to the nation’s economy.”

The aircraft uses air to ground search capabilities, by scanning areas from a safe distance to protect the armed forces in delivering actionable information.

The aircraft have served on numerous operations, including Afghanistan and as part NATO operations in Libya in 2011.

Chief Executive Officer of the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Tony Douglas, added: “This support contract demonstrates how we are working collaboratively with industry to sustain UK jobs and to ensure our equipment remains fit for purpose and continues to meet the needs of our military customers.”

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