LONDON (the UK), May 15, 2018, Author: Bm, Photo: en.wikipedia.org
The British Army’s Aérospatiale Gazelle AH1 rotorcraft helicopters will continue to be in service at least until 2022 thanks to a three-year sustainment contract, which has been awarded to the Airbus Helicopters, reported FlightGlobal.
The contract is at the amount of £15 million. It includes a clause for a possible extension of the deadline for another 3 years. However, it is also likely the active fleet of 22 elderly Gazelle helicopters to be retired earlier than the planned date of 2025 due to a possible acceleration of the work on its replacement as stated by a senior representative of the UK’s Joint Helicopter Command.
The lack of an open competition in awarding the contract to Airbus Helicopters is explained in a Voluntary ex ante transparency notice and an excerpt from it says, “The Authority understands that Platform Support and Project Management can only be carried out by AHUK. This is because they hold relevant skills, technical data, drawing and design information, and are not prepared to share or licence the use of that information outside of the Airbus group of companies (of which AHUK is part). The aforementioned skills, technical data, drawing and design information are necessary for the performance of those activities which will be carried out by AHUK and Airbus Helicopters France.”
The photo shows a British Army Gazelle at RIAT in 2014.