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
Latest News

Aviation Skills Partnership Awards open for nominations

Nominations are now open for the 2018 Aviation Skills Awards which recognise and reward those who are doing exceptional work in aviation and training.

Cranfield to lead on MK:U

Plans for a new university currently known as MK:U which have been in development since late last year, took a big step forward today, with the announcement that Milton Keynes Council has chosen Cranfield University as the lead higher

G&P to debut at Farnborough International Airshow

Quality management experts G&P are exhibiting at the Farnborough International Airshow for the first time with the support of the Midlands Aerospace Alliance.

Karen Smart appointed Managing Director of East Midlands Airport

Karen Smart, currently Director of Landside Operations at London Stansted Airport, has been appointed Managing Director of East Midlands Airport.

SafeSkys awarded RAF contract in Scotland

SafeSkys has been awarded the contract for provision of Airfield Wildlife Control Services for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Scotland at RAF Lossiemouth, RLG Kinloss and RAF Leuchars.

Gatwick to trial autonomous vehicles

Gatwick is to be the first airport in the world to trial autonomous vehicles to shuttle staff across the airfield.

ODU SK191217191218
See us at
SMI FAVSABT2411120418SMI FAVWSBT1402060618FIL18 BT111017220718Aviation Africa BT18418SMI HelicopterTBT1402240518