AgustaWestland has signed a contract with the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) covering the third five-year period of the 25-year Integrated Merlin Operational Support (IMOS) contract. The latest contract, valued at approximately £580 million (approximately €790 million), provides a comprehensive availability-based support package for the UK MoD's fleet of AW101 Merlin helicopters for the period of April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2020. It was announced by Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defense Equipment, Support and Technology during his visit to AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility today.
Signing Ceremony, Photo courtesy of AgustaWestland
Defense Minister Philip Dunne said: “Our fleet of Merlin helicopters has benefitted from considerable investment by the MOD through major upgrades in recent years. This new contract will ensure we can continue to deliver flexible capability to meet the needs of our Armed Forces, as well as excellent value for money for the taxpayer. In addition, the contract will sustain more than 1,000 jobs, which will maintain vital engineering skills in the defense sector.”
A Royal Navy Merlin Mk.2, Photo courtesy of AgustaWestland
The helicopters supported by the larger IMOS contract comprise the 30 Royal Navy’s Merlin HM Mk.2 multi-role maritime helicopters and the 25 Merlin HC Mk.3 & 3A transport helicopters recently transferred to the Royal Navy from the Royal Air Force. The Merlin HC Mk.3 & 3A helicopters are being converted by AgustaWestland to Mk.4 and 4A standard for amphibious support operations under the Merlin Life Sustainment Program (MLSP) contract it was awarded in January 2014.
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