AgustaWestland Wins £439M Support Contract for British Apache Helicopters
The awesome Army Apache attack helicopters operating in Afghanistan will benefit from a £439m contract that will further improve their technical, engineering and logistic support, the MoD announced today.
The new Integrated Operation Support (IOS) contract awarded to AgustaWestland will provide a full range of support to the Apache fleet. The contract is incentivised to improve aircraft availability to the front line and to reduce through life costs to the MoD.
The Apache attack helicopter is designed to hunt and destroy armoured vehicles. It is currently providing top cover to Chinook helicopters on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan.
Apache can operate in all weathers, day and night, and can detect, classify and prioritise up to 256 potential targets in seconds through its Fire Control Radar. It carries a mix of weapons, including rockets, Hellfire missiles and a 30mm chain gun and this extremely advanced aircraft has significantly improved the Army’s operational capability.
Speaking at the Apache Main Operating Base at Wattisham Airfield, the Minister 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.”
The Apache Project Team Leader in Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), Air Commodore Doug Whittaker said:
”This contract will improve the quality of support provided to the front line as well as making savings over the helicopter’s lifetime. Given the success of Apache on operations, this contract is most timely and welcome.”
The IOS solution incentivises industry to reduce through life costs for the MoD, whilst improving operational capability. Similar arrangements are in place for other helicopters, including Merlin and Sea King also with AgustaWestland, and Chinook (with Boeing).
1. The Apache fleet consists of 67 aircraft and a number of these are deployed very successfully on Operation HERRICK in Afghanistan in support of UK and coalition forces. The fleet is operated by the Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) within Land Forces.
2. AgustaWestland, as the Prime Contractor for the Apache Integrated Operational Support (IOS) contract, will be working closely with the US Tier 1 subcontractors: Boeing, Lockheed Martin Overseas Corporation (LMOC), and Longbow International (LBI), who are the Design Authorities (DA) for relevant aircraft systems, to deliver the required support.
3. The Apache AH Mk1 is currently in service with the British military, and is based with the 3 and 4 Regiments Army Air Corps at Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk.
4. Apache is equipped with a long-range real-time battlespace TV feed to the cockpit, thermal imaging and direct view optics, together with a fully integrated Defensive Aids Suite. Power is provided by two Rolls-Royce engines, giving a top speed of 160 mph.