BAE Systems and Vertex Aerospace have signed a nine-year agreement to enhance availability of the US Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier II fleet.

The US Department of the Navy awarded Vertex Aerospace LLC the $123 million Contracted Maintenance, Modification, Aircrew, and Related Services (CMMARS) task order in July 2020 to provide aircraft maintenance and Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) services for the US Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier fleet.

Vertex Aerospace has selected BAE Systems as a subcontractor for the new logistics support contract, which will ensure increased efficiency of maintenance operations for the Harrier fleet using predictive maintenance techniques and smart stock optimisation tools. Together, BAE Systems and Vertex Aerospace will support the crucial training and combat operations conducted from US Navy’s aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships and forward operating bases.

Engineers in US Marine Corps stations supported by UK team

The contract builds on BAE Systems’ existing role in maintaining the AV-8B Harrier’s reaction control system and providing engineering and technical support. Engineers from BAE Systems will work alongside Vertex and the US Marine Corps at stations in: Cherry Point, North Carolina; Yuma, Arizona; and, Madison, Mississippi.

They will be supported by a specialist team in the UK with proven experience in delivering maintenance and support contracts for the UK Royal Air Force. The British-designed Harrier features short take-off and vertical landing technology. BAE Systems’ expertise with the aircraft spans 40 years and the new contract with Vertex Aerospace ensures the company can continue to apply this in support of the US Marine Corps’ crucial operations.

Aircraft modernisation, countermeasures system upgrades and integration

Tom Fillingham, Senior Vice President – US Programs, BAE Systems Air said: “We’re proud to support our customer’s mission through the AV-8B Harrier programme. We are ensuring these aircraft maintain availability until the F-35 replaces the AV-8B. Working together with Vertex as a trusted partner on various US Marine Corps programmes, we are demonstrating our capabilities in aircraft modernisation, countermeasure system upgrades, and integration activities.”

Dave Nagy, Director of Flight Solutions, BAE Systems, Inc Intelligence & Security added: “Extending our partnership with BAE Systems to support our US Marine Corps’ important AV-8B pilot training mission just made sense. With a combined 100 plus years of aerospace and defence experience, we understand the challenges warfighters face and remain keenly committed to improving aircraft readiness while maximising efficiencies.”

John “Ed” Boyington, CEO and President, Vertex Aerospace said: “This is the latest collaborative effort between BAE Systems and Vertex Aerospace supporting the US armed forces, who together also support the U.S. Navy’s Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures contract and spare wing production on the T-45 Goshawk programme.”

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