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Thursday November 29, 2007 :

AgustaWestland Awarded €660 Million (£470 Million) SKIOS Phase II Contract

UK / Italy : ( AgustaWestland Press Release ) - AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that Phase II of the Sea King Integrated Operational Support (SKIOS) contract has now been launched following the signing of the contract by AgustaWestland and the UK Ministry of Defence on 29th November 2007. SKIOS Phase II introduces payment by the flying hour arrangements, emulating the successful IMOS contract for the UK MoD’s fleet of Merlin helicopters signed in early 2006. SKIOS Phase II also includes an aircraft availability output responsibility for UK military SAR aircraft that provide around the clock SAR cover for the UK and Falkland Islands. The value of the contract for the first five years is € 660 million (£470 million), with the potential of rising to €1.12 Billion (£800 Million) over 10 years. The contract is expected to run for the remaining service life of the Sea King fleet.

Under the contract the UK MoD will transfer responsibility to AgustaWestland for Sea King Depth Maintenance located at DARA Fleetlands and the Second Line Workshops activities located at RNAS Yeovilton. AgustaWestland will also be responsible for providing 1st Line Maintenance Services for the SAR Sea Kings at eight bases comprising Wattisham Airfield, RAF Lossiemouth, DST Leconfield, RMB Chivenor, RAF Boulmer, RAF Valley, HMS Gannet and Mount Pleasant Airfield, Falkland Islands. Transfer of responsibility for the above activities will take place over the next six months as part of the SKIOS Phase II transition plan. AgustaWestland will continue to provide technical and spares support services introduced under Phase I of SKIOS.

Graham Cole, Managing Director – Business at AgustaWestland said “SKIOS Phase II is another example of Strategic Partnering between AgustaWestland and the UK Ministry of Defence delivering a contract that will bring significant benefits to the front line squadrons and at the same time significant cost savings. The success of the SKIOS Phase I and the IMOS programme show that AgustaWestland is leading the field in delivering through life support services to the Ministry of Defence.”

Baroness Taylor, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, said “The contract represents another deliverable of the Helicopter plans set out in the Defence Industrial Strategy, strengthens the partnered relationship with industry, and maintains aircraft availability levels but with reduced through life costs. Overall it provides better value for money for the taxpayer.”

The UK MoD’s fleet of Sea King helicopters totals almost 100 aircraft comprising the Royal Air Force’s Mk.3 and Mk.3A SAR aircraft and the Royal Navy’s Mk.4 and Mk.6CR amphibious support aircraft, Mk.5 SAR aircraft and Mk.7 Maritime Surveillance and Control aircraft. The SKIOS Phase II contract will sustain at least 270 jobs at the SAR bases and create 40 new posts with AgustaWestland throughout the UK. AgustaWestland has also partnered with a number of key aerospace and defence companies to deliver SKIOS Phase II including VT Aerospace, Serco, Thales UK and SELEX S&AS.

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