BAE Systems, a global leader in electronic warfare, has announced that the U.S. 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 U.S. Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier fleet.
As noted by the company, Vertex Aerospace 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 optimization tools.
“Together, BAE Systems and Vertex Aerospace will support the crucial training and combat operations conducted from U.S. Navy’s aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, and forward operating bases,” the news release says.
This 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 U.S. 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 a proven pedigree of delivering maintenance and support contracts for the UK Royal Air Force.
“The Harrier is one of the most iconic military aircraft ever created, with its British designed short take-off and vertical landing technology. Our expertise with the aircraft goes back 40 years and this new contract with Vertex Aerospace ensures we can continue to apply our expertise to support the U.S. Marine Corps in their crucial operations,” Senior Vice President – US Programs, BAE Systems Air, Tom Fillingham said.
In addition, earlier in April 2019, Lt. Gen. Steven R. Rudder, the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for aviation also said that U.S. Marine Corps will continue to be a fourth-gen/fifth-gen fleet out until about 2030, with Harriers probably going to 2028 and F/A-18s going to 2030-2031.
Marine Corps extended the Harrier’s service life in view of delays of the delivery F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike.