16:26 26 March 2013
The firm The Bristow Group is set to take over from Britain’s Royal Air Force as well as Royal Navy when it comes to helicopter search and rescue operations.
The government’s announcement on Tuesday morning, 26th March, is expected to outline the deal – which is thought to be between £1billion and £3billion pounds.
There are claims the US group will take over the reins from the UK, and that this could be for the duration of ten years; with their service starting in the coming few years.
The news comes three years prior to when the Sea King fleet is expected to enter into retirement, understood to be in 2016.
Based on reports, The Bristow Group would use Sikorsky S-92’s, as well as AgustaWestland 189’s, for search and rescue missions.
The Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin has said that the helicopter service “plays a crucial role” as it saves lives and also provides “assistance to people in distress on both land and on sea.”
He added: “With 24 years of experience providing search and rescue helicopter services in the UK, the public can have great confidence in Bristow and their ability to deliver a first class service with state-of-the-art helicopters.”
The Bristow Group is understood to have operation in other countries such as Australia, Brazil and Canada to name but a few. The firm are from Texas, in the United States of America.
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