The Ministry of Defence has today announced that it will combine its existing Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) with the Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO), creating from these a single defence group.
This new organisation will take effect from April next year, existing to provide an economic maintenance, repair and upgrade service to UK Armed Forces. This will be extended to collaborating with industry further afield if required.
According to Lord Drayson, Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Sport, the intricacies of the operation will be discussed in months to come. Commenting on the merger, Lord Drayson states: "In ABRO and DARA the MOD owns two maintenance, repair and overhaul businesses that have considerable and in some cases unique practical know-how in maintaining land and air based military equipment.
"Today's announcement will ensure that the MOD retains the intellectual property and design skills required to maintain operational sovereignty in key areas as set out in the Defence Industrial and Technology Strategies. We will consult closely with staff and trades unions as the plans for the new organisation develop during the course of 2007."
Government-funded ABRO was originally conceived to repair and overhaul military equipment. Based principally in Andover, Hampshire, the firm employs around 2,100 people.
DARA was formed eight years ago from the joining of the former Naval Aircraft Repair Organisation (NARO), and the RAF Maritime Group Defence Agency (MGDA).