AgustaWestland has won a 25-year deal to support the UK fleet of Merlin Mk1 maritime and Mk 3 transport helicopters. The integrated Merlin operational support (IMOS) contract will be worth €450 million ($832 million) in the first five years. It is typical of the new logistics partnering arrangements being introduced by the MoD in the UK, and beginning to be copied elsewhere.
The IMOS contract includes payments for flying hours logged and novel incentive arrangements associated with delivering agreed-upon levels of aircraft serviceability, operational fleet aircraft numbers and (for the Mk1) training system availability. Unique contract components will allow industry to meet changing MoD requirements while retaining supply chain stability. The MoD said IMOS will save UK taxpayers around €1 billion ($1.85 billion) over 25 years.
In April 2005 AgustaWestland was awarded its first IOS contract for the UK Sea King helicopter fleet. Valued at €300 million ($555 million), the contract is already realizing planned cost savings while maintaining aircraft availability, according to the company. The company says AgustaWestland customers outside the UK are exhibiting significant interest in the concept.