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Thursday April 11, 2001

Westland secures innovative UK MoD strategic partnering contract

Yeovil, UK ( AgustaWestland Press Release ) - Westland Helicopters Ltd, an AgustaWestland company, has secured an innovative Strategic Partnering Contract (SPC) with the UK MoD valued at between £40 and £50 million per year to provide an improved Repair and Overhaul (R&O) service for all “Blade to Blade” components for all variants of the MoD Lynx and Sea King fleets.

Together with its major sub-contractors, Westland Transmissions Limited and the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA), Westland will manage the R&O process and the provision of spares for all “Blade to Blade” articles from main blades through to tail blades. The SPC is to provide R & O for as long as the aircraft remain in-service. The contract presents opportunities to move to a more integrated approach to support the MoD’s current fleet of Sea King and Lynx helicopters. The SPC will be the cornerstone for a fully Integrated Operational Support (IOS) solution.

The SPC represents a step change in how R&O will be managed as the direct control of spares provision risk transfers from MoD to Westland Helicopters. In addition, benefits of the contract will include guaranteed turnaround times, agreed article feed-in rates, firm spares inclusive pricing and Cost Of Ownership (COO) savings with built-in incentives for industry. All repair spares will be distributed and controlled by Westland Helicopters through the Spares Support Centre (SSC).

The SPC includes provisions to migrate to an Article Availability Service (AAS) and to extend to other repairable items. It signals, therefore, a major capability endorsement of industry to provide a complete support service to MoD, in the form of IOS.

Bert Brookes, Customer Support Director at Westland Helicopters, confirmed the importance of this award: “This innovative partnership paves the way for an entirely new way of contracting with the MoD and brings with it many opportunities for Westland to improve the Repair and Overhaul process and to demonstrate the Company’s ability to offer a fully contractorised support service.”

Steve Hill, DARA Chief Executive, commented: “DARA’s wealth of experience on the Lynx and Sea King transmission components will enable us to provide an outstanding spares inclusive service to both Westland Helicopters Ltd and our mutual customer, the UK MoD. I am delighted with this major step forward in partnering with Westland Helicopters and I look forward to delivering first-class support to Equipment Support (Air)."

AgustaWestland became fully operational on February 12 2001. The completion followed both the agreement drawn up by Finmeccanica SpA of Italy and GKN plc of the UK on July 26 2000 and the subsequent European regulatory approvals. The new Company is 50% each owned by Finmeccanica and GKN. AgustaWestland is a single European company trading as Agusta SpA in Italy and as Westland Helicopters Ltd in the UK.

With a combined 2001 revenue of more than $2.5 billion and a civil/defence order book of about $7.6 billion, AgustaWestland is now a powerful force in the world helicopter industry. It is a leader in a number of the world’s most important programmes and has an impressive pipeline of new products and technologies. Strategic partnerships have been forged with other helicopter manufacturers such as Bell, Boeing and NH Industries and these have further strengthened the product range. AgustaWestland can now satisfy a wide range of needs from both civil and military customers with integrated platform systems that encompass all principal weight categories. Such products range from the innovative 2.5 ton light single-engine A119 Koala to the 14 ton three-engine EH101 helicopter.

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