Boeing has assumed logistics support responsibility for the Royal Air Force’s CH-47 Chinook helicopter fleet. The Through Life Customer Support (TLCS) programme, worth approximately $360 million for the first five years, is a 34-year performance-based logistics initiative expected to generate nearly $295 million in savings for the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The Support Systems unit of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems will perform the majority of maintenance activities on the 40-helicopter MK2/MK2a fleet. Military personnel will continue to perform first-line, in-field maintenance, but Boeing will oversee all other, more intensive work. The contract currently does not include engine and UK common avionics maintenance or training.
The programme will increase Boeing’s presence in the UK while conforming with the Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) in preserving and enhancing UK-based skills. Civilian personnel at the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) Fleetlands facility near Portsmouth and the DARA Almondbank facility near Perth will perform much of the maintenance work.
Boeing said the TLCS programme would provide UK employment opportunities in various disciplines. The programme will see substantial participation from British industry under long-term partnerships that will introduce new supply chain management, distribution, safety, business and programme management processes. In addition, the TLCS programme is structured to allow growth to include engines, avionics and potentially additional Chinook aircraft, providing additional savings to the MoD.
In accordance with the DIS, Boeing will work with UK suppliers to define requirements, streamline business processes and plan modifications to enhance the Chinook’s life cycle.
Boeing said it will use an integrated support process, exploiting field data to ensure correct parts are delivered and available at the correct location, improving Chinook maintainer efficiency. With responsibility for providing maintenance, spare parts, consumables and technical support, Boeing will act as the design authority and primary logistics support integrator, leveraging experience derived from its worldwide Chinook helicopter fleet.