Finmeccanica has been awarded a contract worth approximately 790 million (about 580 million) for the provision of support services for the AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin helicopter fleet.
The agreement was announced today by the United Kingdom's Minister for Equipment, Support and Defense Technologies, Philip Dunne, on an official visit to the AgustaWestland plant in Yeovil, Somerset County.
The five-year contract - from the first of April 2015 up to 31 March 2020 - is part of the 25-year helicopter support agreement signed in March 2006 and named IMOS (Integrated Merlin Operational Support).
The activities are carried out both at the Yeovil plant, where there is an integrated group comprising company personnel and the Ministry of Defense, and at the Culdrose naval base in Cornwall.
Through this contract, AgustaWestland and its industrial partners, including Finmeccanica-Selex ES as the manager of the avionics, will provide complete logistic support and maintenance services to ensure the maximum operational availability of the 55 AW101 helicopters currently in service in the UK . AgustaWestland is also responsible for managing other similar support programs in the UK for Apache AH Mk.1, AW159 Wildcat and Sea King helicopters.
Philip Dunne, Minister for Equipment, Support and Defense Technologies of the United Kingdom, said: "The Ministry of Defense has made considerable investments in recent years in support of the modernization of our fleet of Merlin helicopters.
This last contract will guarantee continuity in meeting the needs of our Armed Forces, while ensuring significant savings for the tax payer. In addition, the contract will support more than 1.000 jobs and will preserve vital engineering capabilities in the defense sector. "