LONDON, England, 6 April 2005. The U.K. Ministry of Defence has today awarded a 300 million-pound contract to Westland Helicopters Ltd. to build and maintain Sea King aircraft.
The Sea King Integrated Operational Support (SKIOS) contract, awarded by MOD's Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO), replaces around 60 individual contracts with over 30 different suppliers, saving the MOD 50 million pounds over the next ten years.
Under the contract, Westland Helicopters will assume responsibility for the provision of aircraft, transmission, mechanical and avionics support for the Sea King, covering spares, repairs, publications and technical advice. The technical support service will include a customer support service and the provision of on-site support teams at each Sea King main operating base.
Sea King helicopters are one of the real workhorse aircrafts of the UK's Armed Forces used for a variety of tasks often in harsh and difficult environments. MOD's Sea King fleet is operated by all three Front Line Commands: Joint Helicopter Command Mk 4 aircraft provide battlefield helicopter support to the Commando Force; Strike Command and Fleet Mk 3/3a and Mk 5 aircraft provide Search and Rescue helicopters; and Fleet Mk 7 aircraft provide airborne early warning and surveillance to deployed operations.
Westland Helicopters Ltd has been awarded the SKIOS (phase 1) contract under a single source, non-competitive procurement procedure. The contract, which covers the aircraft up to its out of service date -- currently 2018 � has a firm price of 300 million pounds for the first five years, after which it will be reviewed for the next five years. SKIOS (phase 2) is due to take place in 18 to 24 months time and will be subject to separate approval.
Westland has appointed two major sub-contractors, BAE Systems and Thales, as part of the contract. For more information, see www.mod.uk or www.whl.co.uk.