Defence Minister Stuart Andrew has announced a £293 million contract with Leonardo Helicopters to maintain the UK’s Apache helicopter fleet for the last 5 years of their service.
The Apache AH MK1 Integrated Operational Support contract will maintain the fleet until it’s out of service date in March 2024, say the Ministry of Defence.
The Apache MK1 is to be replaced by the Apache AH-64E which will begin entering service with the British Army in 2022.
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew 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.”
According to a news release:
“This contract reaffirms the MOD’s committed investment in Leonardo’s Yeovil site. Last May, the MOD announced the delivery of the first Commando Merlin Mk4 helicopters designed for Royal Marine aircraft carrier operations. This saw the fruition of a £388 million contract supporting 175 skilled jobs in Yeovil and a further 500 across the UK supply chain. The MOD also provides Leonardo with the £271 million Wildcat support and training contract securing 500 jobs in Yeovil.”
Director Helicopters at Defence Equipment and Support, the MoD’s procurement agency, Graham Russell said:
“This latest multi-million-pound investment in the existing Apache fleet not only demonstrates our positive collaboration with industry in achieving value for money, but also ensures that these battle-proven helicopters remain in-service and readily available for the British Army until their out of service date.”