MoD agrees £258m deal to supply Sea King helicopters

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has agreed a £258m contract to supply Sea King helicopters, which will sustain 500 jobs across the UK.

The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force fleets of Sea Kings are best known for providing search-and-rescue (SAR) services in the UK and the Falkland Islands. They can also be used to carry troops and provide airborne surveillance.

This extension to the Sea King Integrated Operational Support (SKIOS) contract will ensure continued technical and maintenance support for the 90-strong helicopter fleet for the next three years.

The MoD originally signed the SKIOS arrangement with AgustaWestland in 2005 and this is the final phase of the deal, which is expected to sustain around 500 jobs at AgustaWestland’s UK headquarters at Yeovil, in the industry supply chain and at several SAR bases across the UK.

This phase of the contract will provide support until the Sea Kings are retired from service in 2016 and replaced by Merlin helicopters.