Frazer-Nash, a Surrey-headquartered systems and engineering consultancy, has been awarded an extended contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for work on Merlin military helicopters.
The Merlin Capability Sustainment Plus (MCSP) programme is a multi-year project to reduce the through-life cost of ownership of the Merlin helicopter, principally through a major upgrade of the mission and avionic systems. The goal will be to introduce open-systems computer architecture and to enhance the performance of the helicopters.
Over a three-year period, the company will provide an independent safety audit of the MCSP programme to ensure its compliance with standard defence safety requirements. The first upgraded aircraft is due for delivery from prime contractor Lockheed Martin and its key subcontractor AgustaWestland in 2012.
‘A key factor in reducing through-life costs is the use of civil-certified products within a military operational environment and this presents challenges to the safety programme,’ said Martin Soltau, business manager at Frazer-Nash. ‘We have been working pragmatically with the Merlin IPT [integrated project team], Lockheed Martin and AgustaWestland for five years to ensure that the MCSP meets appropriate safety standards.
‘I am very pleased that we have been granted this contract extension for a further three years as it is testament to our hard work and expertise in safety requirements and acceptance processes,’ he added.