AgustaWestland, U.K. MoD sign AW101 Merlin deal
March 26, 2015, Yeovil, U.K. - AgustaWestland has announcd that it has signed a contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) covering the third five year period of the 25-year Integrated Merlin Operational Support (IMOS) contract.
The contract provides a comprehensive availability based support package for the UK MoD's fleet of AW101 Merlin helicopters for the period 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2020 is valued at approximately £580 million (approximately €790 million) and was announced by Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology during a visit to AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility today.
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.
The contract continues AgustaWestland's long term commitment to provide efficient and effective support solutions for the UK MoD’s helicopter fleets, whilst delivering through a partnered approach increased aircraft availability and increased value for money to the UK Government. A joint industry/MoD IMOS team is co-located in Centenary House at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility to allow joint working and ensure seamless service delivery.
In March 2006 AgustaWestland was awarded the 25-year IMOS contract to increase the availability of Merlin helicopters to the Front Line Commands, while saving the MoD and UK taxpayers around £500 million in support costs over the 25 year period of the contract. Under the IMOS contract, AgustaWestland has partnered with Total Support Services (TSS), an alliance between SELEX ES, Thales UK, GE Aviation and the Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA), to support air vehicle avionics and with Lockheed Martin UK to provide support for the Royal Navy's AW101 Merlin HM Mk.2 mission system and the Merlin HM Mk.2 Training System at RNAS Culdrose.
The IMOS contract sustains in excess of 200 jobs at AgustaWestland’s facility in Yeovil and at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall where the Merlin Depth Maintenance Facility and the Royal Navy’s Merlin Training System are located, and a further 800 jobs in the wider supply chain.
AgustaWestland is also providing Integrated Operational Support solutions for the UK MoD’s Apache AH Mk.1, AW159 Wildcat and Sea King helicopter fleets.