MOD Awards £258 Million Sea King Helicopter Support Contract
(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued Dec. 20, 2012)
The MOD has agreed a £258 million contract to support Sea King helicopters, which will sustain 500 jobs across the UK.

The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force fleets of Sea Kings are best known for providing Search and Rescue (SAR) services in the UK and Falkland Islands. They can also be used to carry troops and provide airborne surveillance.

This extension to the Sea King Integrated Operational Support (SKIOS) contract will ensure continued technical and maintenance support for the 90-strong helicopter fleet for the next 3 years.

The MOD originally signed the SKIOS arrangement with AgustaWestland in 2005 and this is the final phase of the deal which is expected to sustain around 500 jobs at AgustaWestland’s UK headquarters at Yeovil, in the industry supply chain and at several SAR bases across the UK.

This phase of the contract will provide support until Sea King is retired from service in 2016 and replaced by Merlin helicopters.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said: “The Sea King helicopter fleet has been in service for over 40 years providing a vital capability in air/sea rescue and surveillance. This maintenance agreement, securing 500 jobs across the UK, demonstrates our commitment to keeping this aircraft in top condition until it is retired from service.”

Royal Navy Captain Tony Gray, Defence Equipment and Support Sea King Team Leader, said: “Securing this contract ensures value for money for the taxpayer while maintaining the provision of search-and-rescue helicopters around the UK, 24-hours-a-day throughout the year.” (ends)

AgustaWestland Signs £260 Million Sea King Integrated Operational Support Contract
(Source: AgustaWestland; issued Dec. 20, 2012)
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that it has signed a contract with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, valued at approximately £260 million, for the provision of Sea King Integrated Operational Support (SKIOS) from 1st April 2013 to the type’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. The contract includes payments for achieved flying hours and incentive arrangements associated with delivering agreed levels of aircraft serviceability and operational fleet aircraft numbers.

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.”

Under the SKIOS contract AgustaWestland has responsibility for delivering 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.

The SKIOS contract which commenced in 2005 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 Royal Air Force'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.

The SKIOS contract will directly sustain almost 500 jobs around the UK with AgustaWestland and its subcontractors. To deliver this latest SKIOS contract AgustaWestland will continue to work with a number of key aerospace and defence companies who are supporting the current contract. One of these key partners is Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company, providing avionics support services.


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