Boeing to Win $2.9 Billion U.K. Helicopter Deal, Telegraph Says

  • Italian aerospace manufacturer Leonardo also vying for award
  • An announcement of contracts may come as early as July

Boeing Co. is poised to win a 2 billion pound ($2.9 billion) deal with the U.K. Ministry of Defence for new Apache attack helicopters, according to the Telegraph, which didn’t cite the source of its information.

The Chicago-based aircraft maker may secure the 50-helicopter contract, which includes servicing, the newspaper said. Italian aerospace manufacturer Leonardo-Finmeccanica SpA had been in the running for the deal to have the helicopters produced at its facilities in Yeovil, England, it said.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said on Sunday that the program is “in its assessment phase” and that a decision will be made “by this summer.”

The U.K. was able to reduce costs by attaching the request to a larger U.S. military deal, the newspaper said. Lieutenant General Gary Coward, previously head of the Joint Helicopter Command, told the BBC last year that Boeing’s offer was “the only sensible option.”

The U.K. military is trying to balance buying the best equipment with concerns about costs and about losing British expertise in building attack helicopters, as the nation’s only plant is set to deliver its last model next year, according to the newspaper. At the same time, efforts to keep production in the U.K. may risk delaying delivery.

A Ministry of Defense spokesman told the Telegraph that the Apache program is still being assessed and an announcement is due this summer, while Leonardo said it was unaware of a decision. Boeing declined to comment in the article.

Boeing shares have fallen 11 percent this year, compared with a 2.7 percent gain for the S&P 500 Index.

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