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UK MoD issues Sea King helicopter support contract

28th December 2012 - 11:34 by the Shephard News Team

UK MoD issues Sea King helicopter support contract

AgustaWestland has been issued a £260 million contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide Sea King Integrated Operational Support (SKIOS) from 1 April 2013 until the aircraft’s out of service date in March 2016. This contract will follow on from Phase 1 and Phase 2 of SKIOS which provide services up to the end of March 2013.

The SKIOS contract provides a comprehensive availability based support package for the UK MoD's fleet of Sea King helicopters operated by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force (RAF). The contract includes payments for achieved flying hours and incentive arrangements associated with delivering agreed levels of aircraft serviceability and operational fleet aircraft numbers.

The contract will see AgustaWestland deliver Sea King Depth Maintenance, Second Line Workshop services, spares and technical support services. Additionally AgustaWestland also delivers 1st and 2nd Line Maintenance Services for Search and Rescue Sea Kings stationed at eight bases comprising Wattisham Airfield, RAF Lossiemouth, DST Leconfield, RMB Chivenor, RAF Boulmer, RAF Valley, HMS Gannet and Mount Pleasant Airfield, Falkland Islands. These Sea Kings provide 24 hour SAR cover for the majority of the UK and the Falkland Islands.

Ray Edwards, managing director, AgustaWestland, said: ‘The Sea King, after more than 40 years in service, continues to play an important role supporting British troops and delivering higher than contracted levels of availability for search and rescue missions. The success of SKIOS and the similar flying hour based support solutions for the Merlin, Apache and Wildcat, demonstrate AgustaWestland’s commitment to the UK MoD to drive up aircraft availability whilst reducing through life costs.’

When it commenced in 2005, the SKIOS contract introduced a payment by the flying hour arrangement, the first integrated support contract awarded by the UK MoD for a helicopter type.

The UK MoD's fleet of Sea King helicopters totals almost 90 aircraft comprising the RAF's Mk.3 and Mk.3A SAR aircraft and the Royal Navy's Mk.4 amphibious support aircraft, Mk.5 SAR aircraft and Mk.7 Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC) aircraft.

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