AAR (NYSE: AIR) announces its Airlift division has been awarded a contract by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence for Search & Rescue (SAR) and Support Helicopter services in the Falkland Islands. The contract is valued at approximately $275 million (approximately £180 million).
AAR Airlift, together with British International Helicopters (BIH) and Air Rescue Systems (ARS), will provide a combined SAR and Support Helicopter service to the British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI) operations. The program will include AgustaWestland AW-189 SAR helicopters, Sikorsky S-61 support helicopters, flight operations, maintenance, logistics and facilities support at the Mount Pleasant Complex in the Falkland Islands and surrounding maritime region.
The mission includes all-weather SAR, helicopter emergency medical services, rescue hoist operations, passenger and cargo transfers, and night vision imaging systems. Readiness states vary from 15 minutes to 60 minutes response and require a 24/7/365 alert posture. Performance on the 10-year contract will begin in April 2016.
“This award presents a tremendous opportunity for AAR Airlift’s business as part of our strategy to diversify our capabilities and customer base,” said Randy J. Martinez, President & CEO, AAR Airlift Group. “We are thrilled that our exemplary record of safety, reliability and operational performance has earned us the confidence of the UK Ministry of Defence to deliver this critical service.”
Ian Craddock, Head of Helicopters 2 in the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support department, said: “I have every confidence that AAR Airlift has the capability and experience to provide a search and rescue service that maintains the high standards set by the Royal Air Force, who we must thank for the service they have delivered to date.
“We will work closely with AAR through the period of transition, with the RAF continuing to provide search and rescue cover until the new service starts. I am also pleased that AAR will be sub-contracting British International Helicopters, who is already successfully providing support helicopter services in the Falkland Islands, to support delivery of the combined service.”
AAR Airlift provides expeditionary airlift services in support of contingency operations worldwide. The Company provides passenger and cargo transport, aeromedical services, night vision operations, search and rescue (SAR), airdrop and other special mission services. AAR Airlift’s fleet of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft serves defense customers in Afghanistan, Africa, the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific.
AAR is a global aerospace and defense contractor that employs more than 6,000 people in 17 countries. Based in Wood Dale, Illinois, AAR supports commercial, government and defense customers through two operating segments: Aviation Services and Technology Products. AAR’s services include inventory management and parts distribution; aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul; and expeditionary airlift. AAR’s products include cargo systems and containers; mobility systems and shelters; advanced aerostructures; and command and control systems. More information can be found at www.aarcorp.com.
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