Published 23 May 2022

Defence, Equipment & Support are looking to compete a requirement for Surface Finish (SF) capability for the Royal Air Force. This includes the paint finish for multiple aircraft, airfield support equipment (ASE), and station and welfare related tasks.

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Surface Finish is defined as the preparation of – and subsequent paint finish of – aerial platforms and support equipment used by the UK Armed Forces. This includes whole aircraft refinishing and aircraft component refinishing for aircraft, support equipment and other station-related tasks at RAF sites across the UK and overseas locations.

Defence, Equipment & Support are looking to work collaboratively with industry to update, improve, innovate, and modernise the current delivery mechanisms and processes. The Surface Finish contract is currently expected to have a duration of eight years and will support multiple platforms and equipment – including Typhoon jets and the Hawk T1 jets used by the Red Arrows.

Your chance to support the Armed Forces

DE&S must ensure that the required number of serviceable aircraft, air systems and support equipment are available to support the operational output of the Royal Air Force. We have regulatory obligation to deliver safe and airworthy air systems for training and operations, both in the UK and overseas.

Surface Finish supports this requirement by reducing maintenance turn-round times. An efficient, effective, and reliable SF capability can reduce the likelihood of early equipment and component failure. This in turn improves mission survivability.

Additionally, the provision of an effective Surface Finish supports operational deployment through effective camouflage and markings. The surface finish of an aircraft must be maintained to a standard which ensures both high conspicuity for training aircraft – and low conspicuity (camouflage) for aircraft and equipment on operations.

SF also supports airworthiness through the application of adequate corrosion protection.

Join our industry market day

Defence, Equipment & Support are keen to hold a market day with industry to better understand the capability of supplies to meet this requirement and the current market interest for this defence support activity.

The aim of the market day is for the attendees to develop an understanding of our requirements, how we currently supply the SF capability (including a walkaround of a current facility at RAF Coningsby) and a presentation of several proposed contracting methods.

Following the presentation, there will be breakout sessions for industry to have a one-on-one with Ministry of Defence personnel for further discussion.

Register your interest for the market day and the competition here. Please note that registration will close on 30 May 2022.

The following dates are proposed for interested parties to register their availability:

  • Tuesday 7th June 2022
  • Thursday 16th June 2022
  • Tuesday 21st June 2022
  • Wednesday 22nd June 2022