Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland has signed a £580 million contract to provide an availability based support package for the UK MoD's fleet of AW101 Merlin helicopters from 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2020.
UK Defence Minister Philip Dunne 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.”
The helicopters supported by the IMOS contract comprise the 30 Royal Navy’s Merlin HM Mk.2 multi-role maritime helicopters and the 25 Merlin HC Mk.3 & 3A transport helicopters recently transferred to the Royal Navy from the Royal Air Force.
The Merlin HC Mk.3 & 3A helicopters are being converted by AgustaWestland to Mk.4 and 4A standard for amphibious support operations under the Merlin Life Sustainment Programme (MLSP) contract it was awarded in January 2014.
The IMOS contract includes payments for achieved flying hours and incentivisation arrangements associated with delivering agreed levels of aircraft serviceability, operational fleet aircraft numbers and Royal Navy AW101 Merlin Training System availability.
AgustaWestland is also providing Integrated Operational Support solutions for the UK MoD’s Apache AH Mk.1, AW159 Wildcat and Sea King helicopter fleets.