Leonardo announced on 17 January that it has been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), valued at £293 million (€332 million) to extend the current Integrated Operational Support (IOS) contract for the APACHE Mk.1 attack helicopter until the type’s out of service date in 2024. The contract will deliver required levels of availability while reducing through-life costs, the company stated.
During a visit to Leonardo Helicopters’ facility in Yeovil, UK, Defence Minister Stuart Andrew on 17 January, said: “The APACHE has provided years of crucial battlefield support to UK and coalition troops in operations in Libya and Afghanistan. This multi-million-pound contract will ensure our armed forces continue to benefit from this vital capability as we integrate the latest APACHE model into service in 2022.”
Under the contract, APACHE IOS prime contractor Leonardo, through the involvement of its Helicopter and Electronics divisions, will continue to be supported by its industrial partners Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Longbow International to deliver complete spares provisioning, engineering, depth maintenance, repair and overhaul and technical support services for the UK MoD’s fleet of APACHE AH Mk.1 helicopters. At Wattisham, the British Army’s main APACHE AH Mk.1 operating base, Leonardo will continue to manage the Depth Support Unit and the associated workshops, ensuring the throughput of the facility matches the operational requirements of the Army Air Corps. At the Army Aviation Centre Middle Wallop, Leonardo will continue to be responsible for the provision of APACHE aircraft on the flight line at the School of Army Aviation, delivering the required number of flight hours to match the Army’s training requirements.
The APACHE IOS programme office, manned by industry and MoD staff, located in Yeovil, will continue to manage the IOS contract. Leonardo also provides support and training services for the UK MoD’s AW159 WILDCAT helicopter fleet under the Wildcat Integrated Support and Training (WIST) contract and for the AW101 MERLIN under the Integrated Merlin Operational Support (IMOS) contract.