AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the Apache Integrated Operational Support (IOS) contract is now fully operational just six months after contract award and a whole 12 months earlier than originally planned.
In the six months since contract award AgustaWestland has moved from being a supplier to a capability provider, enabling the MoD’s Apache Project Team to be reorganised, transitioning from being a provider to a decider – defining the aircraft availability requirements to fully support the needs of the Joint Helicopter Command.
Graham Cole, Managing Director, AgustaWestland said “We are delighted that the Apache Integrated Operational Support programme has now gone live. The MoD’s Apache Project Team, AgustaWestland’s IOS team and our industrial partners - Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Longbow International are all to be congratulated on meeting this demanding milestone.”
The UK Armed Forces’ Apache helicopters are delivering a vital battle-winning capability to our troops in Afghanistan and the Apache IOS organisation is central to meeting the growing demands being made on the Apache and the increased rate of flying in theatre.
During this transition period AgustaWestland has worked in partnership with the Apache Project Team, which is collocated at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility, to develop the processes for the IOS service; recruit and train staff; implement a Management Information System to support performance management and establish a forward support team at Wattisham Airfield, the Apache AH Mk.1’s Main Operating Base and Main Support Base.
The Apache IOS Contract was awarded on 29th September 2009 to AgustaWestland to support the British Army’s fleet of 67 Apache AH Mk.1 helicopters until their out of service date, with a £439 million contact covering the initial period to March 2014. The flexible service is based upon payment for flying hours achieved and is not only increasing aircraft availability but also reducing through life costs, with a saving of more than £50 million in the initial period.
Under the Apache IOS contract AgustaWestland delivers the required number of aircraft to the forward fleet, provides the required number of flying hours for training sorties at Middle Wallop’s Army Aviation Centre, undertakes all scheduled aircraft servicing in the Depth Support Unit at Wattisham Airfield, and maintains the trials aircraft at its Yeovil facility.
In order to supply this service, AgustaWestland is also responsible for delivering the required spares, repair and overhaul service and provision of logistics support services right up to the front line. Other elements of the IOS contract include a comprehensive technical support service and modification management.
AgustaWestland has similar IOS availability based contracts with the UK MoD for its fleets of AW101 Merlin and Sea King helicopters and is in discussion with the MoD regarding an availability based support contract for the AW159 Lynx Wildcat.