BAE Systems Military Air & Information

BAE Systems Military Air & Information (MAI, formerly Military Air Solutions (MAS)) is a business unit of British defence company BAE Systems responsible for the design, development, manufacture and support of fixed wing military aircraft. MAI customers include the Royal Air Force, Royal Saudi Air Force, US Navy and Indian Air Force.

BAE Systems Military Air & Information
HeadquartersWarton Aerodrome, Preston, Lancashire
Key people
Chris Boardman, Managing Director
ProductsMilitary Aircraft and Aerospace systems
ParentBAE Systems


MAI was formed on 1 January 2011 through a merger of the Air Systems and CS&S Military Air Solutions & Support (MASS) business units. The unit through its products and operating bases encompasses nearly a hundred years of industrial history. MAI direct ancestors include the English Electric Company, De Havilland, British Aircraft Corporation, Avro, Blackburn Aircraft, Hawker Siddeley and the Bristol Aeroplane Company.

Some of the products that have been produced by MAI's predecessors include the Avro Vulcan, English Electric Lightning, Hawker Hunter, English Electric Canberra, Blackburn Buccaneer and the ill-fated TSR-2. In recognition a Lightning fighter and Canberra bomber serve as gate guardians at MAI's Samlesbury site where both were manufactured.


  • Warton Aerodrome, Lancashire - Warton is the headquarters of MAI and home to the central assembly facility for the Eurofighter Typhoon and Hawk configuration and to the upgrades for Harrier and the Panavia Tornado. The divisions major testing facilities and commercial offices are based there.
  • Samlesbury Aerodrome, Lancashire - Samlesbury, situated between Blackburn and Preston, is home to the production facilities for the Typhoon front fuselage and BAE's F-35 Lightning II manufacturing operations. It was previously also responsible for some sections of the T-45 Goshawk airframe. Sections for Airbus are also subcontracted to the site. The site unlike many other MAI sites does not have an operational runway. The runway closed in the 1980s and is used today by Lancashire Police for training as well as the Air Training Corps for Glider training.
  • Brough Aerodrome, Yorkshire - Brough near to Hull was home to Hawk production and assembly. The airfield was closed during the 1990s but flying from the Brough runway (to deliver Hawks for final configuration at Warton) temporarily resumed in 2008. Brough was later downsized to producing Hawk component parts.[1]
  • Woodford Aerodrome, Greater Manchester - Woodford near Manchester was home to the ill-fated Nimrod MRA4 programme. It closed in 2011.
  • Chadderton, Greater Manchester - Chadderton near Manchester is a former manufacturing facility (Historically as Avro) but the site continued as a major office centre for the company until it closed in 2012.
  • Preston, Lancashire - Several of the unit's central functional offices are located in Strand Road area of the city as well as the Apprentice training centre.
  • Yeovil, Somerset
  • Humberside Airport, Lincolnshire - The companies Aircraft Maintenance Training Centre is located at the airport.

The firm also has a major presence on many RAF stations; notably RAF Coningsby and RAF Marham.



  • Eurofighter Typhoon - BAE Systems has a 33% share in Eurofighter GmbH along with Alenia and EADS's Spanish and German divisions. MAI is responsible for the production of all RAF and Saudi aircraft as well as designing and producing all front fuselages for the programme.
  • Panavia Tornado - MAI predessor British Aerospace manufactured all RAF and Saudi aircraft and MAI continues to offer support to these air forces.
  • Panavia Tornado ADV - MAI predessor British Aerospace manufactured all RAF and Saudi aircraft and MAI continues to offer support to these air forces.
  • BAE Systems Harrier II - Originally developed and manufactured at Dunsfold and Kingston the business unit today provides support and upgrades to the aircraft.
  • BAE Systems Hawk - The Hawk trainer is manufactured at Brough and has been produced for numerous armed forces around the globe including the RAF, RAAF, RCAF and South African Air Force.
  • BAE Systems Nimrod MRA4 - Maritime reconnaissance aircraft
  • T-45 Goshawk - A naval development of the Hawk aircraft manufactured with Boeing for the US Navy

Aircraft projects

UAVs and drones

  1. "Brough, Yorkshire". BAE Systems. BAE Systems. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
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