Airbus recruits Boeing in its bid for UK Military’s Puma helicopter fleet replacement to be built at Broughton
Boeing has become the latest defence and aerospace company to join Airbus’s bid to capture a £1.2 billion Ministry of Defense (MoD) contract to build the UK’s Puma replacement.
The UK Government launched a competition in May last year for the New Medium Helicopter (NMH) programme which could see up to 44 H175M helicopters purchased from Airbus by the MoD.
Airbus will set up a final assembly line at the Broughton wing site to ‘build’ the H175M should it be selected as a replacement for the Royal Air Force’s fleet of Puma transporters.
As training services partner, Boeing Defence UK will provide aircrew, groundcrew and maintenance training if the H175m is selected.
Boeing joins a UK-based industry team “created to offer, supply and support the British built H175M which includes some of the most respected players in international aerospace.” Airbus has said.
Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters in the UK, Lenny Brown, said: “Boeing Defence UK is rightly respected in this country for its long-standing support of the British Chinook and Apache fleets.”
“As training services partner it completes a rock-solid line-up of UK-based first-tier aerospace partners who bring a guarantee of world-class service provision to the UK Ministry of Defence for decades to come.”
“We are delighted to collaborate with Airbus and join their innovative team of aerospace leaders to meet the UK’s New Medium Helicopter requirement”, said Steve Burnell, managing director of Boeing Defence UK.
“Our local team has supported the British armed forces for decades, sustaining hundreds of jobs across the country in helicopter training.
As a member of the H175M Task Force, we look forward to leveraging our current expertise to ensure availability and readiness for the UK’s future helicopter fleets.”
The establishment of the new final assembly line would create up to 1,000 jobs in the UK – 400 at Broughton alone – and would build helicopters both for the UK programme and for export.
Design of the assembly line is “progressing”, said Airbus.
The H175M Task Force also includes defence and helicopter specialist Babcock fulfilling the critical role of support partner for the H175M in UK service at military operating locations.
Martin Baker, at Denham, Middlesex, with more than 70 years of aerospace experience, is providing specialist troop seating and cabin integration services.
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