The Mid-Life Upgrade programme began in 2021 and is due for completion 2026.

The Mid-Life Upgrade programme started in April 2021 and is due for completion in March 2026. 

The programme plan has six themes


Aircraft – Modifications to the aircraft to enhance baseline performance and future-proof the facility

Science Infrastructure – Modernisation of the aircraft’s science systems to deliver optimal services and provide flexibility

Science Instrumentation – An upgraded set of instruments to support world-leading atmospheric science and research outputs

Process Development – Assessment of how to improve processes and methods across the facility to support future operation

Operations – Enhancements to the operational capability and characteristics of the facility

Resources – The people, infrastructure, services and technology needed to deliver the facility and the Mid-Life Upgrade Programme

The main activities for each year


Year 1 – Establishing project management systems, and initial scoping with stakeholders

Year 2 – Planning and initiating aircraft upgrades, setting up feasibility studies, understanding requirements, specifications and design implications

Year 3 – Developing aircraft and related infrastructure upgrades

Year 4 – Ongoing aircraft and infrastructure modifications, with further procurement, manufacturing and testing

Year 5 – Completing upgrades and modifications, with final commissioning of instruments and evaluation of scientific performance

Up Next…

Developing capabilities as part of the Mid-Life Upgrade