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UKSAR2G - MCA CivSAR Second Generation

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UKSAR2G - MCA CivSAR Second Generation

Old 29th Jan 2021, 18:41
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UKSAR2G - MCA CivSAR Second Generation

It looks like this month is the right time for a new thread where we can debate and rumour about UK helicopter SAR and occasionally marvel at the durability and longevity of the RAF vs RN posh-hovering bitch-fest.

The UKSAR2G contract process was due to kick off this week but the nominated date has come and gone without comment. Whatever happens, they need to get it moving in the next few weeks.

An engagement phase has been progressing since last spring involving interested parties in the industry and SAR stakeholders including police, MRT, lifeboats, ambulance, fire and others. That phase has included several online meetings with Q&A sessions and consultation on draught copies of key documents.

At an early stage in 2012 there emerged a technical requirement matrix that was largely inherited from SARH25. The approach this time moves towards 'effect-based requirements'. Qinetiq's Post Implementation Report in 2019 proposed the development of 'Measures of Effectiveness' and such measures are now set against each 'User Requirement' in the form of a Threshold value and an Objective value

The latest versions of the Lot descriptions appear in the recent Prior Information Notice and you may find those enlightening.

Here are the published dates for the contract process based on documents on the UKSAR2G webpage and the Prior Information Notice published last Wednesday.
Publication of Procurement Notice 25 Jan 2021
Publication of Selection Questionnaire & Memorandum Of Information 25 Jan 2021
Deadline for Submitting Clarification Question on MOI & SQ 1 Mar 2021
Deadline for responses to MOI &SQ 8 Mar 2021
SQ Evaluation & Shortlisting & Assurance 19 Apr 2021
Notification of Decision to Candidates 26 Apr 2021
Issue of ITT to Participants 4 May 2021
Deadline for Submission of Initial Tenders 9 July 2021
Evaluation Shortlisting for Participation in Negotiation 20 Sep 2021
Negotiations 21 September to 29 November 2021
Issue of Invitation To Submit Final Tender (ITSFT) 29 Nov 2021
Deadline for Submission of Final Tenders 15 Jan 2022
Evaluation of Final Tenders 18 Feb 2022
Government Internal and Assurance Process 18 Feb 2022 to 4 Jul 2022
Award Decisions 5 Jul 2022
Standstill Letters Issued 5 Jul 2022
Contract(s) Completed With Supplier(s) 26 Jul 2022
Contract extensions have recently been awarded for both rotary and fixed wing existing contracts. The mobilisation phase is now scheduled to run until 30th September 2024. (Originally, the current rotary contract had been due to start transitioning out in 2023.) The entire contract is due to be established in service by 31st December 2026. As I understand it, the latest date that any part of the current rotary contract can be extended to is 31st March 2028.
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Old 2nd Feb 2021, 07:04
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Could be a short thread Jim

Take the Bristow model and do it cheaper - contract won
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Old 2nd Feb 2021, 10:23
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That might be a struggle. Let's remember that last time, the Contract Notice estimate was 2bn to 3.1bn. Then the competive dialogue cut it down to the 'Usual Suspects', B + B + C. Then, when price was examined, CHC (an incumbent!) was rejected because they were more than 20% higher than the cheapest bid. Then Bristow were awarded at 20% below the Contract Notice estimate for a contract that had probably become more expensive as the process had evolved.

How many companies really really want SAR? Is being short of oil crew change work really enough to turn you into a SAR-God?

Is a Parent Company Guarantee worth the paper it's written on?

The MCA seems currently obsessed with the mountain of data pointing at short, quick rescue jobs involving only one or two rescued persons. I don't think that scenario is a surprise to anyone on here. So that results in the new Lot 1 spec and people start asking themselves if they need a big expensive AW189 for these little jobs and can they do this with an AW139, Dauphin, 145, secondhand Alouette? Once they are deeper into this, that may not seem so simple though.

Another aspect of possibly using a more diverse fleet for a diverse range of sizes of job is that the right aircraft will rarely be in the right place at the right time. The stats show that Inverness have been most of the way to Denmark and most of the way to Rockall in their 189s which I think is an indicator that these things do not always turn out as you expect.

So, as it currently stands, this is not same-old-same-old and there are lots of new ideas splashing around. It is going to be interesting to see what emerges once all the new ideas are thrashed out during months of interaction between the MCA and the bidders. Could still end up as same-old-same-old with the usual suspects in the frame by this time next year. Who knows?!
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Old 2nd Feb 2021, 17:58
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Lies, damn lies and statistics Jim - the stats said we needed faster helicopters with fewer bases the last time and now they are saying we need short range, rapid response which must equate to more bases..
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Old 2nd Feb 2021, 23:08
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I've lost interest already.
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Old 3rd Feb 2021, 03:25
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Lies, damn lies and statistics Jim - the stats said we needed faster helicopters with fewer bases the last time and now they are saying we need short range, rapid response which must equate to more bases..
It does seem a bit nuts to me. If you put a SAR helicopter base somewhere, I think its likely that the nature of things will tend to produce lots of short range small quick jobs. And if you go back far enough, they were all jobs like that when helicopters could barely go 30 miles without breaking down.

My hope is that during the summer when they have to sit down to talk about this with people who have put the hours in, they will be introduced to the practical realities.

We currently have one of the best services in the world. There is ambition in several quarters to make it even better. Not all of the ambitious ideas will work. And in the background is a government that is not known for its competency.

Oops, oh look, the Contract Notice is delayed over a week already when it gets handed upstairs to the Government of the day. Surprise!



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Old 3rd Feb 2021, 12:07
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The simple fact that the money-tree is bare after Covid and Brexit means that any ambitious plans will be sidelined by financial scrutiny and the need to look competent but at a reduced cost.
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Old 3rd Feb 2021, 19:26
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They are basing their cost evaluation on every life saved being worth 2M. That is a figure arrived at independently by myself for Kintail MRT and stated by MCA Aviation recently in relation to this contract process. (Some involved in the last contract process say that 4M was being used previously, so maybe brexit has devalued British life by 50%?) On the basis of the 2M, any likely charging outcome is good value. And worth remembering that we have just been through a 10 month demonstration of how people ARE the economy and with every life lost a little part of the economy dies. Whether those in the present Government are capable of absorbing that lesson does remain to be seen.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 11:47
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MCA Aviation have issued another Industry Update, dated Friday and posted on the USAR2G web page this morning.
Youtube location:

This update is presented by Damien Oliver, Commercial and Programmes Director, senior responsible owner for the UKSAR2G programme. The core message is as follows.

"We would dearly love to have by now been able to launch the selection questionnaire for UKSAR2G. We still have one or two questions that we need to address that are posed to us by others elsewhere and we're busily doing that right now. Please again rest assured that this is not a sign of change or things to worry about; simply the nature of a complex programme like UKSAR2G in this kind of situation that we're in right now.

We expect to be able to launch the tender earliest we suspect the beginning of March so we are very grateful for your patience while we work through what we're dealing with at the moment."


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Old 15th Feb 2021, 11:54
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Originally Posted by Variable Load View Post
I've lost interest already.
Don't wander off yet. I was thinking of running a comedy competition on the basis of what changes to the Selection Questionnaire are being proposed by the current UK cabinet.

What are the chances that one of them has a mate who has a PPL(H) and reckons he could cover Lot 1 at weekends, with his Robbie, except during the flat season.
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 13:12
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And they'll put Dido Harding in charge
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 19:19
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simply the nature of a complex programme like UKSAR2G
If you add the cost of this amazingly complex tender process to that of the contract, I reckon Crab could be back in light blue doing it cheaper with a few N3s - short range and certainly innovative.
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Old 16th Feb 2021, 13:34
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Yellow 365?

OO! Now you're scaring me.
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Old 17th Feb 2021, 08:27
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It was always a myth that civSAR was going to be cheaper than Mil - it has worked well, primarily due to brand new aircraft and well trained crews but has it been cheaper? And will it be cheaper in the future?

I'm not defending for an instant the p*ss-poor procurement processes of MoD that allowed milSAR to get to such a parlous state with aircraft availability btw.
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