AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that it has signed a contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) covering the second five year period of the 25-year Integrated Merlin Operational Support (IMOS) contract.

The contract for the period 2011 to 2016 is valued at approximately £570 million.

The IMOS contract provides a comprehensive availability-based support package for the UK MoD’s fleet of AW101 Merlin helicopters operated by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. The contract includes payments for achieved flying hours and incentivisation arrangements associated with delivering agreed levels of aircraft serviceability, operational fleet aircraft numbers and Royal Navy AW101 Merlin Training System availability.

Speaking after the signing of the contract Giuseppe Orsi, AgustaWestland’s Chief Executive Officer said: “This contract continues AgustaWestland’s long term commitment to provide efficient and effective support solutions for the UK MoD’s helicopter fleets, whilst delivering through a partnered approach increased aircraft availability and increased value for money to the UK Government.”

Graham Cole, Managing Director, AgustaWestland added “The IMOS contract signed five years ago took AgustaWestland’s Integrated Operational Support to the full availability output level for the first time and working as a single partnered team, AgustaWestland and the Merlin Project Team have delivered major support cost savings while enhancing aircraft availability. We are delighted that our success with IMOS led to AgustaWestland being contracted for Apache IOS and being selected to bid for not just an IOS solution for the new AW159 Lynx Wildcat, but also a through life simulation and training enabling service.”

In March 2006 AgustaWestland was awarded the 25-year IMOS contract to increase the availability of Merlin helicopters to the Front Line Commands, while saving the MoD and UK taxpayers around £500m in support costs over the 25 year period of the contract.

Under the IMOS contract, AgustaWestland has partnered with Total Support Services (TSS), an alliance between SELEX Galileo, Thales UK, GE and the Defence Support Group (DSG), to support air vehicle avionics and with Lockheed Martin to provide support for the Royal Navy’s AW101 Merlin mission system and the Merlin Training System at RNAS Culdrose.

The IMOS contract sustains in excess of 1,000 jobs many of which are located at AgustaWestland’s facility in Yeovil and at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall where the Merlin Depth Maintenance Facility and the Royal Navy’s Merlin Training System are located.

AgustaWestland is also providing IOS solutions for the UK MoD’s Sea King and Apache helicopter fleets as well as developing an IOS and training solution for the AW159 Lynx Wildcat, 62 of which are on order for service with the UK’s Royal Navy and Army.

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