£1.5 Billion Marshall System Stood Up at RAF Shawbury
RAF Shawbury, in Shropshire, has become the first UK military air station to begin operating a new air traffic management (ATM) system.
The £1.5 billion ($2 billion) programme, called Marshall, will see new ATM equipment and infrastructure rolled out across more than 60 UK MoD-operated sites in the UK and Cyprus, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, and includes 22 years of through-life support. The work is being carried out under a contract awarded in 2014 to Aquila Air Traffic Management Services Ltd, a joint venture between Thales and the UK’s air traffic services provider, NATS. Around £400million of the contract total is being spent on new primary surveillance radars, other surveillance and navigation aids, and communications equipment. Installation of the new kit is due to be completed by 2024. In a media release, the MoD says the programme “is expected to save the UK taxpayer up to £317million” by 2044.
“Ensuring our drones, fighter jets, helicopters and cargo aircraft operate safely and efficiently is critical to maintaining our capabilities and supporting our service personnel,” said Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin. “This state-of-the-art system is another example of how we are putting innovation at the forefront of everything we do.”
“The full Marshall ATM solution entering operational service at RAF Shawbury marks the achievement of a major milestone in the Marshall programme,” added Aquila CEO, Michael Stoller. “This new technology will transform air traffic management for our military in the UK and overseas and enable our customer to realise significant operational and cost saving benefits.