Big hitters eye £2bn MoD air traffic control deal

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Some of the biggest names in aerospace and support services are circling a £2bn contract to renovate and run the military's decaying air traffic control infrastructure.

Thales, VT Group, Serco and Lockheed Martin are all said to be awaiting details of the bidding process, which is expected by the end of this year. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has been planning the Joint Military Air Traffic Systems (JMATS) contract since at least 2006.

An aerospace source said: "Companies will look to form at least three or four bidding teams, and the value of the contract should be between £1bn and £2bn. The project will cover the three main military services and will be mainly for UK airfields, with some overseas."

In a presentation to the industry in November 2006, the MoD said the contract's main aim was to "address major obsolescence facing the ageing air traffic management infrastructure".

The MoD did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.