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AgustaWestland Awarded Apache Integrated Operational Support Contract - Delivering Cost and Capability Benefits

6th October 2009 - 17:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


AgustaWestland has announced the award of the Apache Integrated Operational Support (IOS) contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to meet the Apache Attack Helicopter Future Support Arrangements (FSA) requirement.

The contract valued at £439 million (€480 million), for the initial period to March 2014, was announced today by the Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies MP during a visit to Wattisham Airfield, the British Army's main Apache AH Mk.1 operating base.

The Apache IOS contract will deliver greater aircraft availability whilst reducing through life costs by more than £50 million in the initial period and builds on the success of similar IOS availability based contracts for the UK MoD's AW101 Merlin and Sea King helicopter fleets.

The contract is output-based, whereby AgustaWestland is incentivised to improve the levels of operational output whilst seeking continuous improvement to reduce through life costs.

Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies said, "I am delighted to announce the award of this contract to meet the Apache Attack Helicopter Future Support Arrangements requirement. It provides a more efficient way of doing business, representing excellent value for British taxpayers whilst sustaining and improving today's level of service."

Graham Cole, Managing Director, AgustaWestland said at the announcement "The Apache IOS contract is further evidence of our continuing commitment to partnering with the Ministry of Defence to deliver innovative industry leading support solutions in a cost effective manner.

"The Apache is proving its worth every day on operations in Afghanistan and we, along with our partners, are committed to ensure they and the entire Apache force in the UK get the absolute best possible support."

Apache IOS prime contractor AgustaWestland has formed an industrial alliance with Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Longbow International to deliver logistical, engineering, depth maintenance and technical support for the UK MoD's fleet of 67 Apache AH Mk1s.

AgustaWestland and its industrial partners will deliver a complete spares provisioning service, enhanced technical support services including aircraft safety management, mission avionics systems rig support and training course material. At Wattisham AgustaWestland will continue to manage the Depth Support Unit and the associated workshops, ensuring the throughput of the facility matches the requirements of the Army.

At Middle Wallop AgustaWestland will continue to be responsible for the provision of Apache aircraft on the flight line at the School of Army Aviation, delivering the required number of flight hours to match the Army's training requirements.

The Apache IOS contract has now commenced and will be fully operational from 1st April 2010. The contract is expected to continue for at least 22 years when the Apache is currently scheduled to be taken out of service.

At regular intervals there will be price and value for money reviews to ensure performance targets are being met. The contract represents another stage in the helicopter plans set out in the MoD-AgustaWestland Strategic Partnering Arrangement and strengthens the relationship between industry and the MoD.

The contract will sustain over 500 industry jobs mainly at three locations - Wattisham, where the Depth Support Unit and front line squadrons are located; Middle Wallop, the Main Operating Base for the Apache fleet assigned to the School of Army Aviation and at AgustaWestland's Yeovil factory.

A joint Apache IOS project office has now been established at AgustaWestland's Yeovil facility staffed by MoD and AgustaWestland personnel.


The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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