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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 February 2008, 18:25 GMT
MoD helicopter repair site sold
A Lynx helicopter
Lynx helicopters are among those repaired at Fleetlands
A company in Hampshire that provides helicopter maintenance to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to be privatised in a 17m deal.

Union leaders have warned of strike action over the government's decision to sell the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (Dara) facility at Fleetlands.

The MoD said the sale to Canadian-owned Vector Aerospace will guarantee the future of 350 jobs.

A facility at Almondbank in Perthshire, Scotland, is also being sold off.

The Fleetlands facility, in Gosport, provides maintenance, repair and overhaul support for the MoD Chinook (CH-47), Lynx and Sea King helicopters.

'Increase staff'

Defence minister Baroness Taylor said: "In selling Dara we are confident that we are securing a long-term future for the business.

"This is the best result for defence, for our Armed Forces, and for the employees."

Vector Aerospace chairman Don Jackson said: "We are looking forward to growing the level of support that we are providing to the UK MoD and to working with the employees at Almondbank and Fleetlands to create a centre of excellence in European helicopter maintenance.

"We have expansion plans and hope to increase our staff numbers as appropriate."



SEE ALSO
Dara decision will come in weeks
25 Jan 08 |  Tayside and Central
Defence factory sell off 'folly'
18 Jan 08 |  Tayside and Central
Debate planned over defence site
10 Jan 08 |  Tayside and Central
Protest at defence repairs plant
13 Dec 07 |  Tayside and Central
Silent protest by defence workers
10 Dec 07 |  Tayside and Central
Defence repair site sale 'insane'
25 Jul 07 |  Tayside and Central

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