Ministry moves towards a series of key support contracts


The Israeli ministry of defence has selected Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) to maintain its air force fleet of McDonnell Douglas TA-4 Skyhawk trainers, in a move that reflects its increasing trend towards outsourcing key support contracts to cut the cost of maintaining some of the Israeli air force's squadrons.


Samuel Royter, director of the aircraft systems division in the MoD's procurement directorate, says IAI will keep the A-4s in flying condition under a "power by the hour" contract, with the air force to establish a small supervising centre at Hatzerim air force base to monitor the company's work.


The MoD has signed a similar 10-year contract with Elbit Systems' Cyclone subsidiary to maintain the air force's Bell 206 JetRanger communications and training helicopters. Under a different form of outsourcing, the MoD has also contracted Vertex, an L-3 division, to supply spare parts for the air force's Beech King Air B200 communications aircraft. The company will guarantee a 90% availability rate under the five-year contract.


Royter says the MoD is also now evaluating a similar contract for the air force's Lockheed Martin C-130 transports and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters. The strategy has also led Israel to start negotiations with Pratt & Whitney on a proposed contract to supply spares for the F100 engines which power the air force's Lockheed Martin F-16A/B fighters.



Source: Flight International