SH-3 Sea King
- Maritime Coastguard Agency
- Search and Rescue
- Search and Rescue Helicopter
- United Kingdom
The Ministry of Defence and the Department for Transport have today announced
that the Joint Search and Rescue Helicopter (SAR-H) Project is entering into its
next stage. Together the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Maritime and
Coastguard Agency (MCA) will provide a helicopter Search and Rescue (SAR)
capability for the UK well into the 21st century.
Lord Drayson, Minister for Defence Procurement and Stephen Ladyman, the Minister
with responsibility for shipping have approved SAR-H going forward as a joint
MOD/MCA Private Finance Initiative competition. This important step will bring
greater benefits to UK SAR operations as a whole.
The MOD and MCA together provide a 24-hour military and civil helicopter Search
and Rescue (SAR) service for the UK SAR Region from 12 bases around the UK.
Currently this SAR helicopter service is provided by Royal Navy and Royal Air
Force Sea Kings and civilian helicopters under contract to the MCA.
It is planned to replace this capability with a single contract that will still
however retain a high proportion of military aircrew alongside civilian aircrew
trained to the same high standards. The service will continue to be managed
jointly by the MOD and the MCA.
Although decisions regarding helicopters, basing and contract duration have yet
to be taken and will now be subject to dialogue with industry, the SAR-H project
has developed a detailed requirement specification to ensure that all aspects of
the service requirement are met. Key performance indicators will be set and
performance measured against these to ensure the high level of service is
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