NATS Services, Thales UK and VT Group announce JMATS Agreement

09 March 2010

Amsterdam, 9th March 2010: NATS Services, Thales UK and VT Group have signed an agreement under the name AQUILA Air Traffic Management Services to bid for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Joint Military Air Traffic Services (JMATS) programme.

The three companies bring proven expertise to satisfy the requirements of the JMATS programme, which will deliver enhanced capability and significant through-life cost savings in military air traffic management (ATM).

The programme, made up of ATM systems and services, will be delivered at all of the MoD-operated airbases and flying ranges in the UK and overseas and will also provide an out of area ATM capability in support of expeditionary air operations.

Aquila LogoAQUILA has been formed following the signing of a teaming agreement between the three companies, initially to address the UK JMATS programme. The programme extends over 22 years.

NATS Services Chief Executive Lawrence Hoskins said: “We believe the AQUILA team is uniquely well placed to deliver a safe and secure solution for the MOD’s military ATM requirements.  We offer unrivalled pedigree and experience in both civil and military markets and we are completely aligned in our commitment to this.”

Thales UK CEO Alex Dorrian added: “This programme requires an innovative approach to fulfil the long-term needs of military air traffic control and AQUILA brings together the right combination of companies with the necessary technical skills and service ethos.”

VT Group Chief Executive Paul Lester said: “JMATS is about ensuring the best technology and value-for-money service. The shareholders of AQUILA offer the through-life capability and proven performance that the MoD is seeking.”

A pre-qualification questionnaire for the JMATS programme is expected to be issued by the MoD this year in the initial stage of a competition that is expected to see the service starting in 2013.

  • NATS manages,en-route air traffic services for civil and military aircraft flying through UK airspace; NATS Services is its commercial business, providing air traffic control services at 15 UK airports and in Gibraltar.
  • Thales UK supplies systems and services ranging from flight simulation and safety critical secure transactions to integrated command and control systems. The company is also one of the world’s biggest suppliers of ATM systems and services and is an established UK prime systems integrator with a proven track record of delivering large and complex programmes.
  • VT Group is one of the UK’s leading providers of defence and support services, including its role as a key player in training the UK’s military aviation personnel.
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