Pennant International Group plc, the Cheltenham company which trains people in the defence and regulated civilian sectors, has been named as a key supplier by Boeing Defence United Kingdom.
Pennant’s scope of work will be to deliver several new and upgraded Part Task Trainers which are compatible with the new fleet of 50 Apache AH-64E attack helicopters.
The initial four-year agreement will be underpinned by a support and services framework to 2040 and sustain around 50 highly-skilled jobs in the local area.
The announcement was made by Minster for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin MP, as he visited Wattisham Flying Station to see the Apache AH-64E.
“There can be no doubt these impressive Apache helicopters will help the Army sustain its battle-winning capabilities in future operations”, said Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin.
“In addition to its vital defence purpose, this cutting-edge technology will create and support hundreds of UK jobs.”
The AH-64E is the most advanced variant of the Apache. It is designed and equipped with an open systems architecture, including the latest communications, navigation, sensor and weapon systems. It also features advanced digital connectivity, a Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, capability to control unmanned aerial vehicles and new composite main rotor blades.
With 14 of the new variant already in the UK, the new Apache AH-64E fleet will grow to 50, with deliveries expected to be completed in 2024.
“We are proud to deliver the necessary support needed to ensure mission readiness and optimise the full capability of the AH-64E Apache fleet, which will provide a significant uplift in capability to the British Army,” said Anna Keeling, managing director of Boeing Defence UK.
“The new Apaches join the Poseidon fleet at RAF Lossiemouth, the Wedgetail modification work in Birmingham, Chinooks undergoing major upgrades across Hampshire, and the C-17s at RAF Brize Norton underpinning the UK’s strategic airlift capability – all Boeing platforms, serving the UK’s armed forces and providing economic benefits up and down the country.”