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NextiraOne’s communications services help new Aircraft programme take off at Brize Norton


Secure networking infrastructure delivers voice and data platform for ground and air operations

Lichfield – 16 December, 2010. Europe’s leading expert in communications services, NextiraOne, has won a €1.5M contract with Babcock International Group in the UK to build the communications that will connect AirTanker’s team and underpin the flying operations for the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) programme at the company’s base at RAF Brize Norton.

NextiraOne Logo
NextiraOne Logo

AirTanker is a UK company created in 2008 to provide the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) programme to the UK Ministry of Defence over 27 years. The programme will deliver a new air-to-air refuelling and air transport capability to the Royal Air Force, using 14 specially converted aircraft based on the A330-200 commercial airliner. AirTanker will also provide the associated support services for the aircraft, including infrastructure, training, maintenance, fleet management and ground services. The FSTA programme is running on schedule and the first aircraft is due to be delivered to the RAF towards the end of 2011.

Babcock has been contracted by AirTanker to build and support AirTanker’s new infrastructure at RAF Brize Norton, which includes a two-bay hangar and support building. Following a stringent competitive tender, NextiraOne has been appointed by Babcock to design, implement and support the complete new communications infrastructure for the new buildings.

NextiraOne’s solution includes voice and data communications, comprising four discrete networks supported over a single structured cabling solution and a separate secure network supported over fibre. The discrete networks allow a range of security levels, ensuring that voice and data traffic is handled with the appropriate levels of security from unclassified to classified, restricted and secret. The communications infrastructure will also support all of AirTanker’s flight operational software, including flight planning and scheduling to enable worldwide air-to-air refuelling and air transport missions.

NextiraOne will implement the technology solution and cabling to create the secure network infrastructure and will maintain the network under a five-year support agreement.

Dennis Fielding, Babcock’s Programme Manager said: “This is a critical project where the ability of the communications systems to deliver data reliably and to maintain absolute security where necessary is of paramount importance. NextiraOne had the right level of technological know-how and experience and were able to submit a cost-effective quote for the work. Their experience in similarly sensitive projects was also of great value.”

Steven Skakel, General Manager, NextiraOne UK, said: “The FSTA demands the highest levels of security and reliability for its communications infrastructure. NextiraOne has extensive experience in delivering, operating and supporting such mission-critical networks and we pride ourselves on our robust, reliable and secure services.”


About NextiraOne
NextiraOne are Europe’s leading experts in communications services. The company designs, installs, maintains and supports all of its customers’ communications needs from voice to mobility, security and applications.  NextiraOne provides seamless, end-to-end communications solutions working with the leading technology vendors in the industry to deliver maximum business benefit to customers.

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*NextiraOne and the NextiraOne logo are registered trademarks of NextiraOne LLC

About AirTanker/Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft Programme
AirTanker was created in 2008 to deliver the FSTA service to the UK Ministry of Defence, which will provide the Royal Air Force with a reliable, safe and efficient Air Transport (AT) and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) service over 24 years. 

The FSTA service will use 14 new, specially converted, state-of-the-art A330-200 aircraft, each of which will be capable of carrying passengers with associated freight or aero medical patients in addition to its AAR role.  As well as significantly improving reliability, the aircraft will have considerably less impact on the environment than its predecessors.  The first aircraft is due to be delivered towards the end of 2011.

The FSTA programme covers all aspects of an integrated aircraft service, ranging from the provision of the infrastructure, a full flight crew and engineer training service, through to aircraft maintenance, despatch and ground support. It will combine best practice from civil aviation with RAF operational expertise and military ethos to create a most efficient and effective operational solution for the RAF.

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About Babcock International Group plc
For over a century, Babcock has been a name synonymous with ultra-reliable engineering excellence. Today, Babcock is the UK’s leading engineering support services organisation with revenue of circa £3bn in 2010 and an order book in excess of £12 billion.

Defence, energy, telecommunications, transport and education are all sectors where Babcock can be found working diligently behind the scenes, delivering critical support. Our services are underpinned by three core capabilities:

  • Managing Assets and Infrastructure 

  • Delivering Projects and Programmes 

  • Integrating Engineering Expertise 

We take great pride in the considerable depth and breadth of our people’s expertise. Our 27,000 skilled staff design, build, manage, operate and maintain assets that are vital to the delivery of many key public services, both in the UK and overseas. Our market-leading reputation is based on one key fact: Babcock is a partner which can be trusted to deliver™.

For more information:
Neil Moss
European Marketing Director, NextiraOne
Tel: +49 30 74107-6380

Sheila Lashford
Splash PR, Tel: +44 (0) 7986 514240