AQUILA EXPANDS INTO WEATHER FORECASTING SERVICES
Aquila has expanded into providing technical services for weather forecasting. The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded Aquila a contract to provide and support a new weather forecasting radar serving Royal Air Force (RAF) Akrotiri on Cyprus.
Aquila is upgrading and supporting air traffic control systems at more than sixty Ministry of Defence (MOD) air stations across the UK and overseas. The new contract represents the first partnership for Aquila in the weather, climate forecasting and environmental monitoring space.
The new state-of-the-art radar at RAF Akrotiri will provide accurate and reliable weather forecasting information to the Royal Air Force station. It will enable operations teams to manage the safe take-off and landing of flights and effectively plan flight operations at the strategic base in the Mediterranean. The radar will also supply weather forecasting information to the UK Met Office.
Aquila has chosen global weather and environmental measurement technology leader Vaisala to supply and install the new radar. Vaisala’s WRM200 C-band magnetron radar will provide high fidelity weather data, allowing air traffic controllers to accurately plan safe aircraft manoeuvres for UK Forces and their allies well into the future.
Aquila engineers based on the island of Cyprus will maintain and support the new radar to assure its continued operation until at least 2032 under the new partnership.
The new partnership with the MOD, known as Project BOREAS, is worth £3.9 million. It comes after Aquila was awarded an additional contract by the MOD for the provision of air defence system services in the Falkland Islands and South West of England from 2021.
Head of Global Operations at Aquila, Trevor Barnes, speaking from Cyprus said:
“This partnership further underlines Aquila’s ability to deliver a trusted service to our valued customer in support of our Armed Forces. It demonstrates we are able to extend our experience, technical skill and partnership to other domains beyond air traffic management.
“Our regional teams provide a ready-made solution to support a range of critical communications, navigation and surveillance operations and infrastructure. Our presence across the UK and at strategic sites across the globe means we can offer cost-effective, resilient local and national services.
“Following the recent expansion of our air defence services to the MOD, weather surveillance is another logical area for partnership. The MOD’s selection of Aquila is further testament to our dedicated service. We look forward to working with Vaisala, the MOD and other providers and users of weather services in the future.”
About Aquila’s Existing MOD Partnerships
Aquila has led the major 22-year £1.5 billion Programme Marshall to upgrade and support Ministry of Defence air traffic management systems at military airfields across the UK and worldwide since 2015.
The MOD awarded Project SANSON, for the support of air defence radar sites at Portreath in Cornwall and sites in the Falkland Islands, to Aquila in late 2020.
Vaisala is a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements. With over 85 years of experience, Vaisala provides observations for a better world, with its space-proof technology exploring Mars and beyond. It is a reliable partner for customers around the world, offering a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services.
Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs over 2,000 professionals worldwide. It is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange.
Vaisala was ranked in the Top 5 of European Climate Leaders by the Financial Times in 2022.
The Finnish Meteorological Institute’s Vaisala Weather Radar WRM200 in Lapland Pyhä-Luosto Sodankylä, Finland in April 2021. Photo credit: Jari Järvi