Westland tipped for MoD order

Westland, desperate to win a £1bn helicopter contract from the Ministry of Defence, cut its price after US rival Boeing said it would spend up to £2bn with British aerospace companies if it won the order.

Boeing, whose Chinook transport helicopter is vying with Westland's EH101, promised to place work worth twice the value of the deal with UK firms if it got an order for between 31 and 40 craft.

"We regard this offset deal as unprecedented in the industry,'' said a Boeing official. "We believe it would have created a couple of thousand jobs and work for between 50 and 100 British companies.''

Boeing's Chinook is cheaper than EH101 and is favoured by the RAF. But the decision is as much political as financial, and the latest speculation is that Westland, owned by GKN, is close to securing the bulk of the order.

The MoD and the Department of Trade and Industry are thought to favour Westland, whose ability to sell the EHI01 for export would be damaged if it was snubbed by Britain.

An MoD spokesman said yesterday that no decision had been made. He described suggestions of an order for 20 to 30 EH101s from Westland, with Boeing receiving a contract for up to10, as pure speculation.

Boeing, whose Chinook production line needs work to replace terminated US military orders, revised its offer last month. The company is offering to provide offsets of 100 per cent for orders of one to 10 helicopters, rising incrementally to 200 per cent.

Westland has cut its price several times, leading one analyst last night to question whether the company would be doing the work at below cost price.

The EH101 is developed jointly with Agusta of Italy and will be the mainstay of Westland's future production. Export potential is estimated at £3bn.

The UK military already has a fleet of 30 Chinooks and the RAF did not want the expense of introducing a different helicopter, which would mean an increase in training and maintenance costs. There have been claims from senior RAF figures - rejected by Westland-- that the rear ramp of the British craft is too steep for vehicles and that the helicopter does not meet requirements.

The American craft can carry an 8.6-ton payload, including 33 to 35 soldiers, compared with the EH101's 7 tons and 30 soldiers. However, the EH101 is better suited to bad weather conditions.

The Cabinet may make its decision as early as next week. The MoD said: "We have always said that the order would come in the first quarter of 1995."

GKN, whose shares rose 5p to 569p, said it had received no new information about the contract.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Front-Office Developer (C#, .NET, Java,Artificial Intelligence)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-Of...

C++ Quant Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...

Java/Calypso Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, J...

SQL Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York