Boeing, Westland Joint Venture Captures $1 Billion Contract

A new joint venture between The Boeing Company and GKN Westland Helicopters Ltd. has been formally established, concurrent with the award of a contract from the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense, to provide aircrew and maintenance training services in support of the British Army WAH-64 helicopter program.

The 30-year contract has a total potential value of $1 billion.

The new joint venture, Aviation Training International Ltd., in turn has awarded Boeing a $195 million subcontract to provide initial training equipment and services to the new company. A subcontract also was awarded to GKN Westland for facilities and training support systems.

Aviation Training International Ltd. will provide state-of-the-art facilities to train operators and maintainers of the British Army's fleet of Apache attack helicopters. The joint venture uses commercial financing under the United Kingdom Public/Private Partnership program to cover the initial investment in equipment, infrastructure and personnel. Under a contracted training plan based on a specified number of students, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense will pay for services on an "as provided" basis.

At full capacity, Aviation Training International Ltd. will employ approximately 110 people, including aircrew and maintenance instructors, training equipment maintenance technicians and administrators. The company, jointly staffed by Boeing and GKN Westland personnel, will be headquartered in Yeovil, England, and manage four new purpose-built training facilities in Middle Wallop, Arborfield, Dishforth and Wattisham.

"In forming this new company, Boeing and GKN Westland have taken an innovative approach to support the Ministry of Defense in meeting the training needs of the British Army, as well as reducing the life-cycle costs of its WAH-64 helicopter fleet," said Jim Restelli, vice president and general manager of the Boeing Aerospace Support business segment. "I'm confident Aviation Training International Ltd. will prove itself as the world leader providing training services procured in this manner.

"This is another example of our Aerospace Support team bringing forward an innovative solution to meet our customer requirements," Restelli added.

Aviation Training International Ltd. will manage the subcontracts for the design, production, test and acceptance of all training equipment and facilities. The commercial contract awarded to Boeing will result in a suite of aircrew and maintenance training devices for the new facilities.

The aircrew training devices, which are being designed and built by Boeing in St. Louis, include a motion-based flight simulator, three field-deployable simulators and four desktop trainers.

Maintenance training devices are being designed and built at the Boeing facility in Mesa, Ariz. They include an integrated mechanical systems trainer, a sight and weapons systems trainer, a flight control systems trainer, a self-defense weapons systems trainer, and a wing/fuel systems trainer.

This training equipment will be operational at Aviation Training International Ltd. facilities in the United Kingdom in the year 2000. The WAH-64 Apache will enter Army Air Corps service in December 2000.



For further information:
Paul Guse
(314) 232-1520