Leonardo Helicopters wins U.K. military support deal

Britain's Royal Army and Navy fleets of AW159 Wildcat helicopters are to receive support services from Leonardo Helicopters.
By Richard Tomkins   |   Jan. 9, 2017 at 11:51 AM

LONDON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Leonardo Helicopters is to support 62 Wildcat aircraft of the British military under an agreement with the Ministry of Defense signed Monday.

The five-year Wildcat Integrated Support and Training contract is worth nearly $333 million.

"This Wildcat deal delivers a key capability for the Royal Navy and Army, and supports vital high-skilled jobs in Somerset, where there's a proud tradition of supporting UK helicopter operations.

"Wildcat is one of the world's most advanced helicopters and an important part of the government's ten-year ... plan to provide our Armed Forces with the equipment they deserve."

The Ministry of Defense said the contract will sustain about 500 jobs at Leonardo's facilities in the country.

The deal is for a range of support and training services for the aircraft.

The AW159 Wildcat is the core of Britain's frigate and destroyer aviation capability. The Royal Navy uses the Wildcat in anti-surface and submarine warfare roles, force protection, transport and information, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance.

The Royal Army variant performs reconnaissance, command and control, force protection, and transport missions.

The AW159 is made by AgustaWestland, now part of Leonardo-Finmeccanica.

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