The UK MoD has signed a £271 million contract with Leonardo Helicopters to continue support for the WILDCAT helicopter. The deal will sustain some 500 highly-skilled UK jobs, of which over 80% will be at Leonardo’s Yeovil facilities and the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) at Yeovilton, the balance being within the company’s supply chain.
The Wildcat Integrated Support and Training (WIST) contract will also support jobs in Edinburgh and Luton, where Leonardo manufactures defensive aids systems, and Crawley, where subcontractor Thales UK provides support to communication and aircraft management systems. The five-year deal will deliver a range of support and training services for the UK’s entire fleet of 62 AW159 WILDCAT helicopters, operated by 825 and 847 Naval Air Squadrons and 652 and 661 Squadrons Army Air Corps.
WILDCAT delivers key capability to the RN and forms the core of the aviation capability for the frigate and destroyer fleet, providing ASuW and ASW capabilities as well as ISTAR facilities. For the Army, the rotorcraft also delivers C2, force protection, ISR and transport capabilities.