AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the AW159 Wildcat Integrated Support and Training (WIST) contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is now operational, providing through life support and training for the Royal Navy and British Armyâ€™s new fleet of AW159 Wildcat helicopters that are now entering service.
The initial period of the contract will run to March 2017 with a commercial framework in place that will enable the delivery of support and training services until the planned out of service date of the aircraft in 2044, subject to demonstrating continuing value for money. Work on contract started in early 2012 to ensure the support and training was in place for the commencement of deliveries of AW159 Wildcats in April 2012.
The WIST contract will deliver the required levels of aircraft availability at reduced through life costs compared to those of the legacy Lynx fleet and builds on the success of similar Integrated Operational Support (IOS) availability based contracts that AgustaWestland is delivering for the UK MOD AW101 Merlin, Sea King and Apache helicopter fleets. The contract is output-based, whereby AgustaWestland is incentivised to improve the levels of operational output whilst seeking continuous improvement to reduce through life costs.
Ray Edwards, Managing Director, AgustaWestland Ltd said “Encompassing not just availability based support services but also aircrew, maintainer and ground crew training, the WIST contract provides a complete through life support and training package that will deliver cost savings and increased aircraft availability.â€
“The AW159 Wildcatâ€™s equipment fit and performance will also provide an increased level of helicopter capability for both the British Army and Royal Navy. AgustaWestland and our industry partners are committed to delivering the best possible support and training solutions.”
AgustaWestland and its suppliers are now delivering a complete spares provisioning service, enhanced technical support services including aircraft safety management and full systems integration rig support and delivering synthetic and ground based training for both aircrew and maintainers.
The contract will sustain over 300 industry jobs mainly in the South West of England at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, where the joint AgustaWestland/MOD WIST project office, Wildcat Training Centre and front line squadrons will be located and at the AgustaWestland Yeovil factory.
The state-of-the-art Wildcat Training Centre, which is under construction at RNAS Yeovilton, will be at the centre of the training service to be delivered under the WIST contract. It will be fully equipped and networked to provide aircrew and maintainer training using a wide range of Synthetic Training Equipment. Aircrew Training Equipment will include two Full Mission Simulators, a Flight Training Device and a Cockpit Procedures Trainer. AgustaWestland under the WIST contract will be responsible for delivering over sixty different training courses for ab-initio Army aircrew, ground crew and maintainers starting in July 2013, as well as for Royal Navy ab-initio aircrew and maintainers starting in January 2014.
The Wildcat Training Centre will also provide the capability for both Army and Naval front line Wildcat crews to maintain their annual flying and operational currency as well as continuation training requirements.
Included in the WIST contract are regular price and value for money reviews to ensure performance targets are being met. The contract represents another stage in the helicopter plans set out in the MOD-AgustaWestland Strategic Partnering Arrangement and strengthens the relationship between industry and the MOD.
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