Multiple aviation companies have been invited to tender for the UK Second Generation Search and Rescue Aviation Programme (UKSARG2) to provide the UK Coastguard Service with SAR helicopters, planes, and remoted-piloted drones.
The shortlist comprises:
- Bristow Helicopters
- EEA Helicopters
- 2Excel Aviation
- Elbit Systems
UKSARG2 is operated by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency and divided into four Lots, with the shortlist bidding on categories including Rotary; High endurance with larger carriage capacity for long range/multiple casualty rescues; and Fixed-wing, manned and potentially unmanned for rapid search, surveillance, and pollution identification.
Lower cost than current Lifeguard SAR operations
Contracts are expected to be offered in Summer 2022, and bidders will commerce their service in 2024 for 10 years.
Damien Oliver, Senior Responsible Owner for UKSARG2, said: “Our extensive data has been used to develop the tools that will enable bidders for UKSARG2 to include cutting-edge, greener technology that will continue to meet the complex demands of Her Majesty’s Coastguard long into the future.
“This is a truly pan-government capability that recognizes that more than 50 per cent of the demand for Coastguard aviation today arises from other public bodies. UKSARG2 will continue to support UK policing, the health services, and other law enforcement bodies in the work they do. The scale of this collaboration has never been seen before on a Government Procurement.”
The cost of UKSARG2 is anticipated to be lower than the British HM Coastguard’s current SAR and aerial surveillance operations.