Westland and Boeing Joint Venture for Apaches
Aviation Training International, the joint venture between GKN Westland and Boeing Company opened its new headquarters in Sherborne, UK to train Apache British crews
GKN-Westland, July 29, 1999 - Sherborne, UK - Aviation Training International, the joint venture company formed by GKN Westland Helicopters and the Boeing Company to train the air, ground and maintenance crew of the British Army's Apache attack helicopter, officially opened its new headquarters in Sherborne, UK, today.
The headquarters, which will have a staff of some fifteen people, was opened jointly by Councillor Mrs Patricia Hymers, D.L., Chairman of Dorset County Council and Councillor Mrs Mary Penfold, Chairman of West Dorset District Council.
Martin Fausset, chairman of Aviation Training International and Apache programme director with GKN Westland Helicopters, said the opening marked another key milestone in the Apache programme. "To date we have met or bettered all the key milestones in the Apache programme and I am determined that we will continue to do so," he said. "In addition to the new headquarters, the training centres at Middle Wallop, Dishforth, Wattisham and Arborfield are all on track to be ready for the start of the Apache training service in the middle of next year.
"The production facility at Yeovil is ready to begin production of the first UK-build Apache in August and the mission avionic systems rig is installed and being tested ready for hand-over to the Ministry of Defence in October. This is a complex and challenging contract, both for ourselves and for the Ministry of Defence. That it is progressing so well is a tribute to the spirit of commitment, cooperation and collaboration that extends across all the parties involved."
Aviation Training International was awarded a contract by the Ministry of Defence in 1998 to supply the training service for the British Army's WAH-64 Apache attack helicopter. Under the terms of the thirty year, £650 million contract, Aviation Training International will establish dedicated training facilities at the British Army Air Corps' bases at Middle Wallop, Dishforth and Wattisham and at the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers' Arborfield facility.
The initial capital investment in buildings, plant and equipment and personnel will be made by the company and the Ministry of Defence will pay for training on an 'as provided' basis.
The training centres will be operational from mid-2000 to coincide with the aircraft being delivered to the Army Air Corps. When fully established more than 100 Aviation Training International staff will provide training for some 550 military personnel every year.
67 WAH-64 Apaches are being built by GKN Westland for the British Army Air Corps in a contract from the UK Ministry of Defence valued at more than £2 billion. The first aircraft will be delivered in Spring 2000 with a further eight to follow during the rest of the year. Delivery of all 67 aircraft will be complete by the end of 2003.
A variant of the US Army's AH-64D attack helicopter, the WAH-64 is being built under licence from the Boeing Company. More than 50% by value of the aircraft's structure, dynamic components and equipment is being supplied by the more than 180 British companies involved in the programme.