HUNDREDS of jobs have been secured at RAF Brize Norton following a £410m contract to service military transport planes at the base.

The Ministry of Defence announced today that it successfully negotiated the contract to provide in-service support for the UK’s Airbus A400M Atlas aircraft.

Around 400 UK jobs will be sustained by the contract, including 200 with Airbus Defence and Space, focussed on RAF Brize Norton, near Carterton.

Witney MP Robert Courts said: "Today's announcement at RAF Brize Norton is a great boost for the West Oxfordshire economy.

“The £410m contract secures a key part of the RAF airlift or transport fleet until 2026, continuing our area's important relationship with the RAF."

The A400M is the latest addition to the RAF’s tactical airlifter capability and can carry up to 37 tonnes over a range of 2,000 nautical miles.

It will form the backbone of the RAF’s strategic and tactical air transport capability over the next decade and beyond.

The contract will deliver maintenance for the A400M Atlas fleet, enabling the aircraft to support UK military operations around the globe.

The RAF currently has 14 Atlas aircraft in service, with the planned fleet of 22 scheduled to enter service by 2019.

The in-service support contract will also sustain about 200 jobs at companies in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Sussex.