|Merlin Helicopter photo by Dave Jenkins. Crown Copyright.|
The new arrangement recognises the mutual relationship between the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland), and includes commitments to working together on year-on-year improvements in cost effectiveness. It also recognises our respective roles in enhancing national prosperity through exports, where success generates revenue for the company and helps sustain valuable UK jobs and skills.
Minister for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne said, "Leonardo Helicopters continues to play a vital role in supporting helicopter fleets for the Armed Forces. It also makes a substantial contribution to the economy in the South West. Leonardo will continue to support Merlin and Wildcat, two of our five main helicopter fleets, to 2030 and beyond, as well as our current Apache helicopters for the next eight years.
"The Strategic Partnering Arrangement signed today with Leonardo Helicopters builds on strong foundations. It is designed to ensure that we continue to work together to enhance national prosperity through export success, and ensure the right innovation and technologies are available in the UK to meet tomorrow’s defence requirements."
The MOD and Leonardo Helicopters first agreed to an SPA a decade ago, in June 2006. Over the recent months, the original arrangement has been reviewed and refreshed, resulting in a new Strategic Partnering Arrangement (SPA) that will endure for a further ten years.
This new SPA recognises and builds upon the success of the past decade, during which Leonardo has provided support to UK aircraft conducting operations across the globe, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. More broadly, it acknowledges the vital work that Leonardo undertakes to help maintain over a third of the UK MOD helicopter fleet, helping the MOD to provide world class capability and support to the UK Armed Forces.
The new SPA is not a contract and does not have financial value, but represents shared commitments to transparency and joint work that should bring benefits to the Armed Forces, the UK taxpayer and the company.
Chief of Material Joint Enablers at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support, Pete Worrall said, "We anticipate spending around £3 billion with Leonardo over the next decade to upgrade and support our helicopters. This arrangement represents a great opportunity for both Leonardo and the MOD, making clearer our respective and joint responsibilities when it comes to delivering maximum benefit to the UK taxpayer, our Armed Forces and for the company
"The arrangement is built on transparency and co-operation and I look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Leonardo through this arrangement."
The arrangement with Leonardo was signed on [23 June 2016] and agreed between the Chief of Materiel Joint Enablers, Mr Pete Worrall, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Capability), Lieutenant General Mark Poffley and Mr John Ponsonby of Leonardo Helicopters UK.