LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Britain has awarded a joint venture owned by Safran’s Turbomeca a 367 million pound ($577 million) contract to provide engine maintenance for two of the UK’s helicopter fleets, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on Wednesday.
The six year agreement with Turbomeca, which was previously be a joint venture with Rolls Royce, will provide essential support for the British army’s Apaches and Merlin helicopters used by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.
Rolls-Royce sold its 50 percent stake in the joint venture that makes engines for Apache and Merlin helicopters to Safran’s Turbomeca for 293 million euros in September. It said it would progressively transfer the operational responsibilities in the engine programme to Turbomeca over several years.
The new contract will deliver savings of more than 300 million pounds compared to previous arrangements, the MoD said. The contract will reduce the number of major repairs needed on the air frames, keeping the aircraft in the air for longer.
“This contract will provide important support for our Merlin and Apache fleets, which play a vital role defending this country’s interests around the world,” Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said.