AIM signs contract with the Armed Forces
On Friday November 27 the Norwegian Armed Forces signed a major maintenance agreement with AIM Norway. AIM will also in the next five years help to keep the Sea King rescue helicopter in the air.
– The contract is obviously important for us. We are specialists on Sea King, we currently have around 30 employees on this activity and we want to maintain continuity in this area. It is also important for our expertise in helicopter engines, when we want to compete for maintenance contracts on the next generation rescue helicopter, says CEO of AIM, Ove Haukåssveen.
– This contract is a success for the Armed Forces. The agreement clearly offers a cost-effective way to ensure that Sea King helicopters have sufficient operational capacity for the lifetime, said chief operating procurement in the Defence Logistics Organization, Magnus Hansvold.
The new contract has a duration of five years, with an option for a two-year extension and has an estimated value of about 500 million NOK (~60 MUSD). AIM Norway continues to perform maintenance on the engines to Sea King rescue helicopter, but maintenance should be done after a PBL model (Performance-Based Logistics).
This means that AIM at any time should have two engines ready at Rygge airbase so defective engines can instantly be replaced with one of the two working engines. This concept is derived from the success associated with PBL maintenance on F-100 engines for the Air Force’s F-16 which is also maintained by AIM.
– We have maintained Sea King for over 40 years, but this is a new contract model. The agreement requires more management and planning from our side. We carry more risk and must ensure that all parts are available to perform maintenance, says Haukåssveen.
– We have completed a competition in the open market where there were two candidates who showed interest: AIM Norway and an international competitor. After an exciting and even competition, the choice fell on AIM Norway, says lawyer and senior adviser Robert Daley in Operational Procurement Department of the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (NDLO).
– We experience that NDLO has implemented this bidding process in an orderly and professional manner, and the choice of supplier is very well justified on the basis of competition criteria and requirements, says Haukåssveen.
AIM has good knowledge of the Armed Forces as a customer and knows the needs of the Armed Forces.
– Our expertise is helping to keep the helicopters and aircrafts in the air as much as possible. The availability of Sea King has until now been superb, especially considering that the aircraft is getting quite old, says Haukåssveen.
In the period 2018 to 2021, the Armed Forces replace the Sea King and introduce a new rescue helicopter, named AW101. As many know, the F-35 is to replace the F-16 during the same period, and the Air Force is thus heading towards a significant technological transition.
AIM also seems to take a position in the maintenance of the engines of the new fighter aircraft, but it still to enter contracts..
FACTS ABOUT AIM NORWAY
AIM Norway, Aerospace Industrial Maintenance Norway SF, formerly known as the Air Force’s maintenance depot was converted into state-owned enterprise in December 2011 and is wholly owned by the Ministry of Defence. AIM Norway represents the most experienced aeronautical environment in Norway with continuous operations since 1916.
AIM Norway delivers maintenance and modification services for aircraft, helicopters, components and ground equipment to the Armed Forces and other customers. AIM Norway is part of the international production program for the F-35 of horizontal and vertical tails to the new aircraft.
AIM Norway has 430 employees, working in 22 different specialist workshops, organized in the areas of aircraft maintenance, engine maintenance, electronics / avionics maintenance, mechanical processes and production.