Boeing believed to have slashed hundreds of millions from Apache helicopter bid
Aerospace giant Boeing is believed to have sliced hundreds of millions of pounds off of its bid to make 50 Apache attack helicopters for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).
In a dramatic step taken to improve its chances of securing the contract, the US aircraft manufacturer has reportedly offered what is a "very significant discount", according to sources cited by the Mail on Sunday.
The company has made the move in the face of a rival bid submitted by AgustaWestland, a UK company owned by Italian defence group Finmeccanica. It made the Apache helicopters that are currently used by the Army under licence from Boeing.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Boeing's chief executive Jim McNerney said: "We have a large and growing presence in the UK and a significant part of that activity is in our UK company, Boeing Defence UK.
"While I can’t go into details about any new Apaches, we are obviously delighted the helicopter is performing well for the UK armed forces, who we support in numerous ways."
According to the newspaper, sources from Boeing said the maintenance of the helicopters could be carried out by its UK arm, ensuring the majority of the government's spend remained in the UK.
"We are currently in the assessment phase of the programme, which will supply 50 latest generation Apache helicopters to the UK," the MoD confirmed.
"This phase includes establishing best value for money for the taxpayer and will conclude in spring 2016 with a decision on procurement then following."