The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has assumed responsibility for the United Kingdom's Chinook Through Life Customer Support (TLCS) program and is now providing spare parts, support equipment and component repairs to the Royal Air Force's (RAF) 40 Chinook helicopters and their 14,000 part numbers.
This critical program milestone, called Supply Vesting Day Phase 1, culminates nine months of joint RAF and Boeing planning and integration. Boeing now is monitoring fleet supply usage, acquiring spares and repair parts, performing component overhaul and repair, and continuously improving processes to lower costs.
"Our evolving supply solution will improve the availability of spare parts and increase the readiness of Chinooks on the frontline," said James O'Loughlin, Boeing TLCS program director. "It also will result in substantial savings from improved efficiency, a stable and long-term market for Boeing suppliers and lower inventory levels. The improvements will make the supply chain more flexible and agile, making it better equipped to deal with changes in customer operational requirements."
A physical inventory analysis has been completed to allow Boeing to utilize current RAF stores. Following Supply Vesting Day Phase 2, which will occur in the next six months, Boeing will replenish the RAF inventory as needed to support the fleet's growing flight demands.
Boeing has implemented several internal tools to gather information from the RAF and suppliers for better spares forecasting, total asset visibility and automation of the spares/material requisition process. Between Phase 1 and Phase 2, the RAF will continue procurement, storage and shipping activities while Boeing ensures new systems and facilities are fully integrated. Future TLCS procurement activities will be consolidated with other Chinook purchasing activities at Boeing Rotorcraft Systems in Philadelphia to further leverage existing economies of scale.
TLCS is a performance-based logistics program that provides support for the life of the U.K. Chinook fleet, currently scheduled until 2040. Under the program, Boeing ensures a predetermined number of Chinooks are available for missions. Boeing's overarching service includes aircraft depot maintenance, on-site engineering support and integrated publications. Boeing is responsible for deploying maintenance and technical support as well as modification design, installation and maintenance services. In addition, Boeing is being tasked to repair battle- or crash-damaged aircraft.
The TLCS contract is an innovative 34-year partnership that gives incentive to both the RAF and Boeing to continuously improve tools and processes to enhance the effectiveness of the U.K. Chinook fleet and to reduce logistic support costs. The project office is located in Gosport, England. The team is supplemented by technical and business resources at Boeing Rotorcraft Systems in Philadelphia and is part of Support Systems, a business of Integrated Defense Systems.