united kingdom Defence Aviation Repair Agency

Ministry of Defence (MoD)


1999 to 2008    

Formed by consolidating the Naval Aircraft Repair Organisation (NARO) and the RAFs Maintenance Group Defence Agency (MGDA) in April 1999 to realise logistic savings in a single organisation. Efforts to encourage a more commercial approach resulted in DARA becoming a profit centre (Trading Fund), wholly owned by the MoD in 2001.
As budgets tightened throughout Government, a drains-up review of Defence Logistics - in parallel with intense political lobbying - resulted in the Fast Jet work being consolidated on main operational bases (eg Tornado work went to RAF Marham) - arguably, on a questionable Government business case - even though major investments had been made at the existing DARA facilities (the Super Hangar) at St Athan. This was a significant blow to DARA which following its own strategic business review, DARA concluded it would sell its remaining rotary wing repair operation at Fleetlands and its Almondbank spares facility to Vector Aerospace from Apr 2008.
The RAF and Royal Navy Merlin depth maintenance programmes were merged and located at RNAS Culdrose. But the writing was on the wall for the slimmed down DARA, now lacking critical mass. DARA disappeared when it was merged with the ex-Army ABRO (itself formed in 1993 by a series of reorganisations and mergers) and emerged as the Defence Support Group (DSG) on 1 Apr 2008.

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1999/08RAF St AthanEGDX
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