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Aeralis signs of Memorandum of Understanding with AirTanker

31 January 2023
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Aeralis, the Bristol-based British military jet developer, has signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Brize Norton-based aviation services provider AirTanker to evaluate opportunities for an aircraft service offering in the light fast jet defence market.

This follows Aeralis’ recent award of a multi-million-pound digital engineering services contract from the UK Ministry of Defence. The MoU will assess upcoming contracts in military flying training, defence operational training and combat air support roles.

The MoU covers a range of services that AirTanker can offer, such as collaboration with overseas partners and establishing local service provision. The agreement aims to use the Aeralis programme to achieve significantly lower financing, acquisition and operating costs for aircraft compared to incumbents, paving the way for enabling a wide range of ‘on-demand’ operational air support services as part of the future of air force fleets.

This latest announcement follows on from a successful year for Aeralis. The British jet developer signed partnerships with several companies building towards the ultimate delivery of the aircraft, including Thales UK, Atkins, Siemens, Martin-Baker and Hamble Aerostructures.

Aeralis also signed an MoU with Rolls-Royce to explore initial and future options to meet the company’s propulsion requirements, and opened its first facility, the Aeralis Enterprise Hub, in the Bristol Defence & Aerospace cluster earlier this year.

Aeralis is currently in Phase Two of a three-year contract with the Royal Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office.

In 2008, AirTanker signed a 27-year contract with the Ministry of Defence to deliver and support 14 Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft, which operate as Voyager while in RAF service.

AirTanker’s CEO Phill Blundell said: “We are excited to be collaborating with the Aeralis team on this transformative programme and bring our expertise of supporting and delivering complex military operating solutions into the project at this developmental stage.”

Aeralis’s founder and chief executive Tristan Crawford added: “This Memorandum of Understanding with AirTanker marks an important step in Aeralis going to market not only with a transformational aircraft system but also with a disruptive aircraft service offering. In the coming years this will have the potential to transform the operating economics of defence light jet aviation, releasing sorely needed capacity and capability for military customers.”

Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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