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Old 20th Sep 2011, 15:32   #81 (permalink)
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Thanks for the update.
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Old 20th Sep 2011, 15:59   #82 (permalink)
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There are 5 down-selected bidders for gapSAR currently beavering away trying to get their detailed bids sorted by 7 Oct. Tallsar can give more detail as he is involved but he is probably way too busy at the moment.
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Old 21st Sep 2011, 14:02   #83 (permalink)
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TC - I will give any bidder more than the shirt off my back if anyone can sort the potential Gap SAR contract by April 2012! Me thinks it might come into being a little later than that.... Please check with your local CHC rep!
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Old 21st Sep 2011, 15:18   #84 (permalink)
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July 2013 for the commencement of G-SAR I believe...
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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 09:26   #85 (permalink)
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Nothing really new to what has been posted above. Details emerge of UK Gap SAR requirement | Shephard Group

Details have emerged about the UK government's interim search and rescue requirement, following the collapse of the £6 billion SAR-H project earlier this year.
The new programme, which has been dubbed the Gap Search and Rescue Helicopter Service and became open to tender in July, was launched as an emergency measure in order to ensure continuity of service following the abandonment of the SAR-H programme after irregularities were found in the bidding process.
Shephard understands that the new programme is currently being bid for by five consortia.
The Department for Transport (DfT) - the tendering department – has stated that the contract will be for six years with the option to extend a further 12 months. The department hopes to have the Gap SAR service operational in the spring of 2012 with the total cost of the contract estimated to be between £200 and £235 million.
According to Gap SAR tendering documents, the DfT is offering bidders the opportunity to make three bids: one that covers the two northern bases, one that covers the south bases and a bid that covers both regions. This may open the possibility of different providers operating the Scottish and south coast operations.
Currently, SAR helicopter operations are carried out by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force flying the Westland Sea King, and by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) using a mix of S-92s and AW139s, provided by CHC under an interim contract operating from Portland, Lee on Solent, Shetland and the Isle of Lewis. That contract is due to end in the first half of 2012.
Under previous plans, the helicopters involved in the interim contract would have been replaced by a new single-type fleet purchased by preferred SAR-H bidder Soteria – a consortium of CHC, Thales and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The service would have begun operations when the interim contract ended, and was due to be fully in place by 2016, when the Sea King is planned to be retired.
Soteria's behaviour during SAR-H still remains the subject of an inquiry by military police.

Tony Osborne, London
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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 18:10   #86 (permalink)
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Espresso and TC.... I would always recommend a degree of scepticism over press articles, even from august helo friendly sources such as the Shepphard Press! That article is inaccurate on several key aspects.

What is for sure is that the new government are taking a very dynamic attitude to SAR provision and other related matters. No one knows how those dice are about to fall as yet.

We do know from the June ministerial statement that another announcement is due soon....

As for GAP SAR... Well it definitely will not be in place by mid 2012. GAP is about sustaining the 4 MCA/ HMCG SAR flights following on from the present Interim contract. Therefore, it is not contractually related by definition to anything to do with the Mil Sea King SAR units.

Where did you get 7-8 bases from? ....I dont think so.... I think too it is not appropriate to discuss whatever happens for the longer twrm as though it will be a direct replacement of SAR-H, and squeezed into a shorter timeframe. I think this Coalition has made it clear that its averse to PFI contracts and you only have to read the papers today about NHS Trust PFI debt issues to see how right that view seems to be. No doubt we will hear how the new contract is to be funded in due course. The new timeframe we have yet to discover, except we know the MoD aims to remove all Sea Kings by mid 2016. Can it be done? I am sure most of the obvious bidders would say yes, particularly as many of them regarded the SAR-H transition period as too lengthy and thefore more costly than neccessary.
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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 18:50   #87 (permalink)
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Will the existing interim contract just be extended (as I believe it can be) until GAP SAR can take over or have those S92s been promised to Ireland on a specific date? Can the Irish Govt actually afford the new CHC SAR contract?

Until our Govt makes its statements we won't know if there will be any military involvement in 'son of SARH' (reservists anyone?) but it seems clear that extending the Sea King OSD beyond 2016 is an expensive non-starter.

DfT have to get their heads round the enormity of the task they are taking on in respect of UK SAR and will have to work out how to fund it - especially if PFI is deemed politically and financially untenable.
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 17:03   #88 (permalink)
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At least four companies are competing for a contract to run part of the UK's search and rescue helicopter service.
Firms had until Wednesday to submit bids for a new five-year contract to run four coastguard rescue services in Scotland and southern England.
Bids have been submitted by Bond, Bristow, a consortium including British International Helicopters and CHC, the current coastguard contractors.
The government is to announce which has been successful by the end of the year.
The preferred bidder will take over the operation of helicopter rescue services out of bases in Portland in Dorset, Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire, Sumburgh in the Shetland Islands, and Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides from June 2013.
The UK's search and rescue service is currently operated out of four Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) bases, six RAF ones and two Navy ones.
All four coastguard bases are run by CHC, but its contract expires next year.
The Department for Transport needed to find a contractor to run the service after plans for a private consortium to take over all 12 UK helicopter rescue bases were shelved earlier this year.
The Soteria consortium did not get the contract after admitting it had access to commercially sensitive information.
Ministry of Defence police are investigating how the information came to be in the group's possession.
This new contract is expected to plug a gap until a private finance deal is reached for the takeover of the entire search and rescue service.
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 17:33   #89 (permalink)
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a consortium including British International Helicopters and CHC,

I think it's just the way you have written the post but, for clarity, BIH is in a different consortium from CHC.
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 18:53   #90 (permalink)
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It is a cut and paste job from BBC NEWS UK.

BBC News - Firms vie to run UK search and rescue service

Will be interesting to see if there are any novel ideas on offer.
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 18:56   #91 (permalink)
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Thats a direct copy and paste from BBC Scotland news website, may be the way it has been written.
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Old 5th Oct 2011, 20:28   #92 (permalink)
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Will the existing interim contract just be extended (as I believe it can be) until GAP SAR can take over or have those S92s been promised to Ireland on a specific date? Can the Irish Govt actually afford the new CHC SAR contract?

I believe the option of the one year extension on the current UK contract has been taken. The first 92 for the new Irish contract is due around early December with some crews already rated or being rated. Word on the street is the rest will follow in 2013.
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Old 10th Oct 2011, 11:25   #93 (permalink)
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So.....potentially 4 companies going for the bid which would be a temp contract until something is drawn up for the long term, possibly starting in 2016.

As I was someone who got a bit worked up last time, I think I'll hold fire a bit this time round. Although I do have 4 sheets of paper in my hand already...
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Old 11th Oct 2011, 17:00   #94 (permalink)
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I am told Gap SAR may well start earlier than July 2013 depending which bidder wins and what they are offering. Its to be a 4 year contract from the start date with possibility of a years extension ...so Gap could finish well before 2018. If the MoD Seakings are going before the end of 2016 as SDSR said, then we should hear something soon I would expect about the bigger replacement competition if there's going to be a chance to have a good competition and get it sorted in time. Wonder who is going to pay for it this time - the Greek banks? Anyone for "SAR-H 2" - 12 bases of S92s? I hope not as so much has happened since the SAR-H winner was chosen. I expect too many politicians will want to stick their noses iand spoil the whole competition.
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Old 11th Oct 2011, 20:12   #95 (permalink)
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12 bases of S92s? I hope not
Be careful what you (don't) wish for!
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Old 12th Oct 2011, 05:26   #96 (permalink)
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They will still have to sort out the issue of funding - since PFI is clearly not the political favourite any more, DfT are going to need a big budget to pay for UKSAR. With no military involvement, as seems likely, they won't have the ability to pull 70% of the finance from the MoD budget as was planned under SARH. 12 bases of R-66 anyone?
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Old 12th Oct 2011, 09:12   #97 (permalink)
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PFI is only a big word for renting assets and services rather than buying them, so Gap SAR has to be done that way; no one has the capital budget to do otherwise. The government has budget lines for nearly 30 helicopters at 12 bases now, so they’ll extend the lines, perhaps transfer them to one department, and keep going; there may be a fight but it can’t much change the outcome. Renting new machinery costs more because the contractor’s bank loan is bigger, so cutting to 9 bases increases the spend at each by at least 30%. The world will end, but not for a lack of competent SAR.
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Old 12th Oct 2011, 09:18   #98 (permalink)
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Fully agree Crab... There is no doubt some intriguing business going on behind the scenes to decide what happens to the MoD money that goes to pay for their SAR capability at the moment.... And who pays for the new UK wide service... Well apart from the taxpayer of course!
ToD... Personally I dont wish for a 12 base S92 solution... But then I have never yet got my wishes... So what will happen will happen.

Neither the S92 or 225 (assuming they both remain in the running) are not without their issues after recent events, and some might argue that the 92 has yet to emerge from its recent problems with a complete clean bill of health. I am presuming that next time round, anyone who offers the 92 is likely to go for an upgraded version based on developments within the Canadian programme and improvements to the MRG and its lubrication system. There is rumour too of an upgraded 225... So you never know eh? In the commercial world, the 225 seems to be marching on regardless orders wise, so I am not convinced the next time aroumd there might not be a clsoer competition between the two.

No doubt someone in't Ministry will be letting us all know soon.
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Old 12th Oct 2011, 09:27   #99 (permalink)
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Sorry Manchester, while I'll go with most of your post, I have to disagree with your comment re PFIs. They are very much about someone buying and running the assets, not renting at all. Clearly its the banks who provide the money, but the chosen Supplier is most definitely buying the cabs. That said, it can then be viewed as the user of the service (HMG) as somehow renting the service... But it surely is not like aircraft leasing or similar.
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Old 12th Oct 2011, 09:56   #100 (permalink)
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Under PFI, the Government rents assets and/or services – it pays a standing order for use of a hospital or an SAR service, and the contractor holds any capital assets. However out of favour that approach may be, it saves the government the up-front capital cost and a payroll of civil servants to manage the process; it won’t die. How the supplier meets the requirement by leasing or buying is his worry (within the contract). PFI is definitely like renting as far as I, a taxpayer, am concerned.
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