The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has signed a support agreement with Saab for Helikopter 15, the military variant of Agusta A109.

The agreement, which is effective from 1 January next year, will run until 31 December 2026. It comes with option years that will run through 31 December 2030.

With respect to the agreement signing, an initial order valued at $66.4m (Skr550m) will be registered, stated Saab.

Helikopter 15 has been operational with the Swedish Armed Forces for around 18 years and is claimed to be the country’s lightest helicopter.

Since 2012, the Swedish firm has had an ‘exclusive agreement’ to ensure the operational availability of the helicopters.

The agreement includes mission equipment, military equipment support, and provision of a technical workforce of all 20 helicopters.

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It also includes logistics and equipment, including engine maintenance, as well as base personnel for command, planning and administration.

Furthermore, ‘call options’ in the form of additional technical personnel and engineering services are included in the agreement.

Saab Support and Services business area head Ellen Molin said: “Since 2012, we have worked closely with the end customer at the Helicopter Wing, and our proficiency at providing full support and maintenance ensures the high availability of Helikopter 15.

“The continued trust in us and long-term contracts confirm that we are the strategic support partner we want to be.”

Currently, Helikopter 15 operates from two Swedish bases Linköping and Ronneby.

The primary base for repairs, maintenance and inspections is at Malmen in Linköping.

Saab said it also has permanent staff in Ronneby base, with good capacity to allot resources to different sites when required.

The Helikopter 15 is manufactured in Italy by the Italian-English company ‘Agusta-Westland’.

Last month, FMV extended the Gripen future development support services contract with Saab.