Delivering Programme Marshall

A case study

Transforming UK Ministry of Defence air traffic services

Aquila is working in partnership with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to transform the ground air traffic management at airfields in the UK and overseas.

Aquila is leading the £1.5 billion programme to upgrade and support the MOD’s terminal air traffic management capability over the 22 year partnership.

The new systems will provide additional features and an improved user experience to improve the control of aircraft during landing, take off and manoeuvre around the airfield.

As part of Programme Marshall, Aquila provides day-to-day service availability for military air traffic control. Aquila engineers support all UK Ministry of Defence terminal ATM systems worldwide.

Aquila also provides simulation and training support for military air traffic controllers to prepare them for safe operations.

New centralised control room functionality in each region, together with smart product management and consolidated support is expected to save the UK defence budget over £300 million.


Air traffic Control Tower

The Challenge

The UK MOD needed to update its systems in order to:

  • Comply with the new international aviation standard Mode-S.
  • Replace equipment that was nearing the end of its lifecycle.
  • Harmonize equipment and service support across its 65 airfield sites.

The Solution

  • Delivery of a new technological solution in line with Mode-S requirements
  • Simulation systems and training for all MOD air traffic controllers
  • A central service of planned system maintenance and reactive 24/7 support
Aquila technician reviewing fault diagnosis

The technical solution

The latest communications, navigation and surveillance equipment with modern radar data processing and displays, and touchscreen interfaces, including:

  • 390 new control tower communications systems
  • 30 new primary and secondary surveillance radars
  • A technical refresh for 18 precision approach radars
  • 2000+ new digital radio systems
  • 18 new navigational systems
  • 25 new ATM training simulators

Introducing eight new Wide Area Multilateral (WAM) systems with over 100 associated radars – surveillance technology which offers larger and improved coverage.

Two deployable systems to take the latest ATM systems capability into field operations quickly for urgent operational requirements.

Simulation and Training

  • 25 airfield simulators on airfields and at the Defence College of Air and Space Operations.
  • 47 Flight Simulator Operators to support the training of over 100 military air traffic controllers per year.

Maintenance and Support Service

  • Regional support model with a 24/7 Operations Centre and regional hubs of expert engineers across the UK, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands.
  • Real-time remote systems monitoring and control by the Aquila Operations Centre and the customer to ensure the ongoing operability of all systems.
  • Real-time airfield service and equipment availability tools for Aquila and the customer to monitor the service availability on a specific airfield and track incident progress.
  • Hub and satellite air traffic control, combining hub and satellite sites approach room functions in centralised locations, enabling smaller airfields to be managed by larger nearby airfields.

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