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  ..[ ].. > > ( ) ( Department of General military subjec
 


Contracting out

( ) ( Department of General military subjec


 

29-12-11, 05:11 AM

  : 1

Contracting out



 


CONTRACTING OUT
ADJ reporter Richard Gardner looks at the benefits of contracting outsourced support services. He sees that cost of renewing today"s front line air forces places a great financial strain on defense budgets, which makes it more difficult than ever to afford major expenditure on upgrading training and support services.

Priority is claimed to be given to buying new multi-role combat and transport aircraft and helicopters, but there has been little spending on new training aircraft. This whole thing was greatly affected by the digital era.

Older jet trainers have been replaced by modern turboprop trainers, which can be equipped to replicate modern fighters cockpits and even simulate radar displays without being fitted by actual radar. The BAE Hawk represents such an aircraft which has been fitted with a cockpit similar just to supersonic combat aircraft. Many air forces in NATO nations are shifting to adopt new methods as budgets decline, to offload provision of support activities to outsourced specialist suppliers. Even US militaries are turning to contracted services as an alternative to in-house support. This includes maintenance, repair and simulator training.

Outsourced contractorisation is claimed to have now even reached to operational capabilities, such as airborne tanking, which is provided by Air Tanker consortium, UK, using a 14 new Airbus A330 tanker-transports, which include provision of all training, maintenance and 40%-60% of aircrews, but responsibility of tasking operations remains with military authorities. Omega is another company that provides tanking services by the hour, which uses a fleet of converted Boeing 707s and KC-10s, and are also used by US forces and other NATO nations.

Services provided on contractual bases include some of the biggest aerospace and defence companies, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Thales, SERCO, Raytheon and Cobham Aviation services. They are active on a global scale in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Cobham, in Australia, provides the largest outsourced and managed maritime patrol service in the world for the Australian Customs Service under the Sentinel programme.

Aviation Training International (ATI) is a typical company that provides services under contract beside CAE, L. Martin, Boeing and HB Heliservices, a joint venture between Bristow Helicopters and Cobham. It uses around 50 Bell 212 helicopters for the UK Defence Helicopter Flying School. Reporter claims that many air forces have taken similar steps to re-focus their spending on contractual outsourced services. CAE trains, for example, over 80,000 crew members annually at training centers around the world.

 

 


 

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