Finmeccanica proves its strategic and critical importance as a key partner to the UK Ministry of Defence with the award of a new contract valued at approximately 790 million euro (approximately 580 million pound) to provide support services for the UK’s AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin helicopter fleet. The contract was announced by Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, during an official visit to AgustaWestland’s Yeovil plant in Somerset today.
The five year contract, for the period 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2020, is part of the 25-year Integrated Merlin Operational Support (IMOS) programme signed in March 2006. Services are delivered at the Yeovil plant, where a joint industry/MoD IMOS team is co-located, and at the Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall. Through this contract AgustaWestland and its industrial partners, which include Finmeccanica-Selex ES supporting air vehicle avionics,
will provide a comprehensive availability based support package for 55 AW101 helicopters currently in service in UK.
AgustaWestland is also providing IOS solutions for the UK MoD’s Apache AH Mk.1, AW159 Wildcat and Sea King helicopter fleets.
Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, said: “Our fleet of Merlin helicopters has benefitted from considerable investment by the MOD through major upgrades in recent years. This new contract will ensure we can continue to deliver flexible capability to meet the needs of our Armed Forces, as well as excellent value for money for the taxpayer. In addition, the contract will sustain more than 1,000 jobs, which will maintain vital engineering skills in the defence sector.”
Note to editors: The AW101 is the most advanced military helicopter in its class available to the global market today. More than 200 helicopters have been sold worldwide so far. The AW101 has been chosen by a number of leading armed forces such as those of UK, Italy, Denmark, Portugal, Norway, Canada and Japan to name a few, and is now being evaluated by several nations. Thanks to its inherent multirole design, the AW101 can perform a range of missions such as troop and cargo transport, search and rescue, anti-submarine and antisurface
warfare, surveillance and patrol, minesweeping and special operations. In all cases the AW101 delivers outstanding performance, safety, payload and operational capabilities.