in Defence

Wildcat work to stay in UK

Posted 26 July 2017 · Add Comment

Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin has announcesd that work on the AW159 Wildcat helicopter, produced by Leonardo Helicopters in Yeovil, will continue in the UK



Above: Minister Harriett Baldwin has announced that Wildcat fabrication will stay in the UK.
Crown Copyright


Options had been considered to relocate the fabrication work for future AW159 helicopters orders – the export version of the Wildcat helicopters already in service with the British Army and Royal Navy – overseas.

After careful joint analysis with the Ministry of Defence, Leonardo Helicopters in Yeovil has confirmed that it will carry out all future fabrication for the AW159 helicopter in the UK, with much of this work being undertaken at its Somerset facility – an agreement that will sustain 40 highly skilled jobs across the UK-based supply chain.

Wildcat is a highly versatile aircraft, capable of a wide a range of tasks over land and sea. The Royal Navy’s maritime Wildcat forms the core of the UK’s Frigate and Destroyer aviation capability and performs tasks including Anti-Surface and Submarine Warfare, force protection, transport and the vital information, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) role. Similarly, the Army variant performs reconnaissance, command and control, force protection, and transport roles in a wide variety of environments.

Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said: "I am delighted that a solution for UK-based fabrication for the AW159 helicopter has been identified between the MOD and Leonardo Helicopters. An agreement that secures Yeovil as the home of AW159 and Wildcat production and maintenance in the UK.

"This work has not only helped sustain 40 of highly skilled jobs within the UK, but will act as a positive boost for the company and, through improved cost-effectiveness, their export customers. I would also like to pay tribute to Marcus Fysh MP, who has worked tirelessly to secure this great result."

Over a decade ago the MoD bought, as part of the 2006 Wildcat (then Future Lynx) demonstration and manufacturing contract, a number of specialised jigs and tooling for the fabrication of the AW159 Wildcat Helicopters. These essential parts are used to ensure airframe alignment, mould, patterns and manufacturing tools and gauges. These will now be used by Leonardo to carry out the fabrication work in the UK.

The MoD’s continuing commitment to the Wildcat was also highlighted earlier this year, when a £271 million five year deal was signed to deliver a range of support and training services for the UK’s entire fleet of 62 AW159 Wildcat helicopters, securing 500 jobs at Leonardo’s facilities in Yeovil and Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton.

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN receives certification

The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN, which will power all variants of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, has been granted full flight certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Cathay Pacific signs MoU for 32 A321neo

Cathay Pacific Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for 32 A321neo single-aisle aircraft.

Sonardyne sonars to protect Middle East CNI facility

Maritime security company, Sonardyne International Ltd, UK, has announced that its underwater intruder detection sonar technology, Sentinel, has been installed on the site of a new Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) facility

Edinburgh Airport starts work on 80m transformation

Construction has commenced on a new extension to Edinburgh Airport's terminal building, marking the start of the realisation of an £80 million investment plan to help the airport handle forecasted record number of passengers.

Solar Orbiter set to launch before next total solar eclipse

Today's total Solar Eclipse across the USA will provide a spectacular view of the mysterious Solar Corona - the one million degree 'halo' around the sun which is only seen from Earth when the Moon passes in front of the bright solar disk

Cranfield University powers-up new Supercomputer

A new High Performance Computer (HPC) has been switched on at Cranfield this week - called Delta - which is faster, provides greater storage capacity and is more energy-efficient than its predecessor.

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
DSEI LB0911150917SMI MilSat BT2907101117Advanced Engineering BT1007021117SMIUAV BT1005280917SMI12DE BT203280917Aviation Africa BT18418SMI FAV BT1007161117SMI AirMissBT0305251017