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UK reopens Fleet Helicopter Support Unit tender

A FOST Airbus AS365N2 Dauphin operated by British International Helicopters under the FHSU requirement. The MoD has put the tender out to requirement, hoping to secure a new service starting from 1 April 2026. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reopened its requirement for a Fleet Helicopter Support Unit (FHSU) provider to deliver a crewed rotary-wing service to the Royal Navy (RN), having seemingly failed to do so on previous occasions.

A notification posted on the UK government's Contract Finder website on 8 May calls for bids for a contractor-owned service to deliver military and non-military personnel for the RN and to enable the conduct of operational sea training and supporting tasks, including the transportation of freight. The MoD requires the successful bidder to be ready to deliver an initial service to specified ships from 1 April 2026, with the contract expected to run for six years.

This renewed call for an FHSU provider came 24 months after the MoD first put out a call for tenders in May 2022, and six months after the most recent call in November 2023. The MoD did not disclose why the previous attempts had failed to secure a service, except to note that β€œ[t]he buying department may be considering suppliers that have already applied, or no suitable offers were made”.

The FHSU provides support to Fleet Operational Standards and Training (FOST) in the South Coast Exercise Areas (SCXAs), as well as across the wider UK flight information region. This service is currently provided by British International Helicopters using two Airbus AS365N2 Dauphin II helicopters.

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