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A private company will take over the UK's helicopter search and rescue operations, the Department for Transport has announced. The Bristow Group has won a 10-year contract to run the service from 2015. The £1.6bn deal ends 70 years of search and rescue from the RAF and Royal Navy. Bristow will replace ageing RAF and Royal Navy Sea King helicopters with modern Sikorsky S-92s and AgustaWestland 189s.

Under the new contract, 22 helicopters will operate from 10 locations around the UK. Ten S-92s will be based, two per site, at Stornoway and Sumburgh, and at new bases at Newquay, Caernarfon and Humberside airports. Ten AW189s will operate, two per site, from Lee-on-the-Solent and a new hangar at Prestwick airport, and new bases which will be established at St Athan, Inverness and Manston airports. All bases will be operational 24 hours a day, and half of the new fleet will be built in Yeovil, Somerset.

Economist: 'UK Will Enter Triple-Dip Recession'

There has been a stark warning as the Office for National Statistics is set to release its latest update on the UK's economic performance.

Speaking on Jeff Randall Live, Sarah Hewin, head of research on European economies at Standard Chartered, said the UK will not be able to avoid a triple-dip recession.

She said: "The real weak spots of the economy are manufacturing and construction. Employment is still rising, but wages are weak. The economy is moving ahead but there is a lot of stopping and starting.

"We won't avoid a triple-dip recession. We are at risk, but we'll see a pick up later in the year."

But not everyone on the programme was so downbeat about the British economy.

Duncan Tait, chief executive of Fujitsu in the UK, said: "The UK market for the services that we deliver is about £50bn. We have just under £2bn of that.

"There's £48bn of head room for us to grow. We've found a market place that we can grow in."

On Wednesday, the ONS will release its final estimate of...
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