Marshall Aerospace and Upgrading French C-130s


2013-06-06 We have taken a look at the Marshall Aerospace business model earlier.

In the interview with the Marshall CEO, Murielle Delaporte discussed the the Marshall team’s approach to partnership.

As the CEO underscored:

We provide integrated operations support through our partnerships with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).  we’ve never had our own products, so we work closely with the OEMs and the government customers.” we are always looking for partnership, and we’re not looking necessarily to be the dominant player. We want to be offering the best value we can in partnership with our customers and suppliers.

The Marshall CEO emphasized that given the company provides its expertise in partnership it is focused on tailoring its support to the customer requirements. 

For example, in Canada, we brought about 80 engineers where we work with a company called Cascade who are the prime contractor, and we’ve got white collar engineers working in Canada.  Conversely in places like Holland where we have a small office, we’re delivering an offset commitment wherever we are in the world, we have to pick what’s appropriate to the customers needs.

The advantage of being a small organization was highlighted throughout the interview as well as not being an OEM.  If they were an OEM, the OEM partners which they have in support contracts would be concerned about intellectual property leakage.  In a relationship with Marshall, they simply don’t have that concern.

The pilot and cockpit of a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft take on an eerie glow through an image intensifying lens in the black of night, during a resupply airdrop over Afghanistan. Airdrops are a vital part of the logistical supply chain for the Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) of Helmand Province and involve great coordination with land & air assets and personnel, delivering essential supplies to the FOB’s. Credit: Marshall Aerospace

According to the CEO:

We’re very flexible in our approach.  We don’t have defined business model that we can’t deviate from. And we’re quite flexible in terms of our approach.  And we’re very agile as well.”

As an organization because we are relatively small; we’re quite forward-thinking, and quite easy to work with.  And we’re actually quite quick to react. Being privately owned, we have effectively a very few number of shareholders, and those shareholders are the Marshall family and held in a trust, which is controlled by the chairman.

Therefore, unlike a PLC or an XA, we can actually go to our board and the shareholders quite quickly for decisions on some major issues, that allows us to be fast, flexible and respond market conditions quite quickly.

A recent example of this approach was highlighted in a press release from the company issued today.

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group has won a study phase contract, worth 1.25m Euros, with the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) procurement agency relating to an upgrade of the French Air Force’s fleet of C-130H aircraft. 

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) and Thales have come together to complete the project. 

The study phase involves the design of an avionics ‘glass cockpit’ upgrade and the integration of modifications and role equipment to increase the tactical capabilities of up to 14 of the French Air Force’s C-130Hs. 

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group is the UK MoD Design Approved Organisation for the Lockheed Martin C-130K and has performed more than 1,500 modifications and upgrades, for over 20 C-130 military and civil operators worldwide.  

Most recently, Marshall ADG completed a four-aircraft Cockpit Upgrade Programme (CUP) and Cabin Safety Improvement Programme (CSIMP) for the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s fleet of C-130Hs. 

Steve Fitz-Gerald, CEO of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, comments:

“We’re delighted to have won this study phase contract as we are extremely familiar with the C-130 platform and the application of avionics upgrades, special modifications and Integrated Operation Support (IOS) programmes which are project managed to ensure a timely return to service for their operators..” 

Under the study phase, Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group will provide detailed technical reports outlining potential solutions to mitigate risk and provide a priced proposal for the engineering and modification installation phases.