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Job Description

Thales people architect solutions that are relied upon to deliver operational advantage at every decisive moment throughout the mission. Defence and armed forces customers rely on us to deliver the full range of defensive systems for land, sea, and air. From early warning, to threat neutralisation, our platforms cover all levels from very short-range systems, to extended protection across the entire battle-space including Air Traffic Management, Vehicles and Tactical Systems and Missile Defence, Optronics, and Radar.

Together we offer fantastic opportunities for committed employees to learn and develop their career with us. At Thales UK, we research, develop, and supply technology and services that impact the lives of millions of people each day to make life better, and keep us safer. We innovate across five major industries; Aerospace, Defence, Ground Transportation, Security and Space. Your health and well-being matters to us and that’s why we offer you the flexibility to do what’s important to you; whether that’s part time hours, job sharing, home working, or the ability to flex your start and finish times. Where possible, we support a working pattern that suits your lifestyle and helps you reach your ambitions.

Aquila Air Traffic Management Services (Aquila) was formed in 2014 as a joint venture between National Air Traffic Services (NATS), air navigation services specialist and Thales , the primary supplier of equipment and services for UK Air Traffic Management (ATM).

Aquila was awarded the £1.5 billion Project Marshall contract by the MOD in 2014. The programme will provide military terminal Air Traffic Management (ATM) capability which ensures that all flights are safely and efficiently managed and sequenced for take-off and landing.

Aquila currently employs over 200 people, predominately in the UK but also includes locations in Gibraltar, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands. It operates from the Aquila Head Office in Whiteley, Fareham.

Purpose of the Role:

  • The Head of Bids and Proposals is responsible for developing and delivering winning bids and proposals for Marshall-related contract changes, significant Marshall-related growth opportunities and opportunities from other customers.
  • The role of the Commercial function is to support the achievement of Aquila’s financial/strategic objectives whilst increasing opportunity and decreasing risk for the company. Aquila has a desire to improve its forecast PBT and growth of incremental business is a key part of achieving the business objectives. The strategy to drive Marshall contract change and other related and non-Marshall related sales opportunities will be vital to achieve specific business development targets (for orders, revenue and profit).
  • The Head of Bids and Proposals sits within the Commercial function. The role holder will develop, lead and manage all activities to manage (and improve) the processes, to manage teams to prepare winning proposals and thereby achieve specific orders, revenue and profit growth targets associated with Marshall whilst ensuring longevity and success of the Marshall contract. The role holder is responsible for maintaining and improving the Aquila new business winning processes and plan in coordination with the Commercial Director and the Business Development (BD) Director.


  • Plan, lead, organise and manage bids and proposals, including for all changes to the Marshall contract, including identification of resources, process reporting, development and optimisation.
  • Lead the bids and proposal management team, balancing resources against requirement, maintaining a plan of demand versus bid resource availability.
  • Develop the plan, and execute the plan for proposals for significant opportunities as they arise.
  • Identify profitable opportunities to grow revenue.
  • Develop and maintain an excellent understanding of the Marshall customers and other target audience requirements, e.g. Air Command and User Communities, to ensure that needs are being met and proposals meet the audience needs.
  • Manage the governance processes for new opportunities ensuring, with colleagues in the Commercial function, the commercial integrity of those forthcoming commitments.
  • Build and maintain profitable partnerships with key stakeholders, ensuring regular reviews are held with customers to ensure requirements are being met and excellent customer service is achieved.Liaise with relevant internal functions to ensure customer requirements are fully communicated throughout the business during the proposal stage and at point of handover for implementation.
  • Maintain an awareness of external factors including competitors, government business initiatives, current and proposed legislation in relation to commercial and business activities which may impact the business.
  • Contribute to Aquila’s formal reporting to the business and the customers in compliance with Aquila’s contractual and business requirements.
  • Encourage a culture of good relations and communications with all members of the Aquila team and maintain a reputation for responding in a professional and timely fashion to internal and external customers.
  • Monitor the performance of bidding activities using key metrics and preparing reports for the Commercial Director, the CEO and the Board. Ensure that all bid management activities meet or improve on budget, order value, revenue and profit targets in line with business objectives.
  • Coach and mentor the bid managers and others around the business as is necessary to develop the capability within the function.
  • Any other task deemed reasonable by the Commercial Director to fulfil the Purpose of the Role.

In line with Thales’ Baseline Security requirements, candidates will be asked to provide evidence of identity, eligibility to work in the UK and employment and/or education history for up to three years. Some vacancies may require full Security Clearance which can require further evidence to be provided. For further details of the evidence required to apply for Baseline and Security Clearance please refer to the Defence Business Services National Security Vetting (DBS NSV) Agency.

At Thales we provide CAREERS and not only jobs. With Thales employing 65,000 employees in 56 countries our mobility policy enables thousands of employees each year to develop their careers at home and abroad, in their existing areas of expertise or by branching out into new fields. Together we believe that embracing flexibility is a smarter way of working. Great journeys start here, apply now!

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Whiteley, Hampshire, UK
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