Merlin support consists of three elements:
- Integrated Merlin Operational Support (IMOS);
- Merlin Non-IMOS;
- Merlin Apache Engine Support Contract extension (MAESCE)
Additionally, the Merlin Out of Service Date Extension Programme (OSDEP) is part of the Merlin delivery team portfolio. The project will sustain the Merlin helicopter fleet until 2040.
IMOS – currently in its fourth Pricing Period (PP4) – is a through-life, single source contracting framework with integral five-yearly re-pricing and exit strategy. Leonardo Helicopters is the prime contractor for IMOS, with Lockheed Martin, Leonardo Electronics Division, and SERCO as key sub-contractors.
IMOS provides a complex level of services to the fleet of 55 Merlin helicopters including: depth maintenance; supply of spares; aircrew and maintainer training; technical support service; proactive obsolescence service, and support to other platforms.
PP4 runs from 1 April 2020 through to 31 March 2025 and is worth up to £699M for this phase of Merlin helicopter support. The contract continues to sustain in excess of 1000 jobs many of which are located at the Leonardo Helicopters facility in Yeovil, but also at RNAS Yeovilton and Culdrose and the wider supply chain.
The MAESCE contract manages the RTM322 Engines and is due to end in March 2024. This will be replaced by a new Engines Future Support contract with SAFRAN, reducing the cost of ownership by providing a propulsion solution that delivers capability, safety, availability, reliability and sustainability requirements.