Leonardo: the new support and training program for AW159 Wildcat helicopters of the MoD UK is underway

(To Leonardo)

Leonardo launches the new phase of technical assistance and integrated training services (WIST - Wildcat Integrated Support and Training) for the AW159 Wildcat helicopters of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense. This phase, which will have a duration of five years, is part of a contract with a total duration of 34 years signed in 2012.

The latest five-year contract, worth £ 360 million and signed in 2021, ensures continuity in the provision of support services for the AW159 fleet in service with the British armed forces. The WIST program includes the supply of spare parts, scheduled maintenance for three years, further advanced technical assistance services to guarantee high safety standards, as well as training in a synthetic environment and on the ground for both pilots and crews, and for maintenance technicians.

Head of Military Procurement at the UK Department of Defense Jeremy Quin said: “Wildcat helicopters play a crucial role in supporting the military with reconnaissance, protection and transport tasks. I am delighted that this fleet will continue to receive high quality technical support and training provided by Leonardo UK ".

Simon Jones, Head of Support and Training Services for Leonardo Helicopters in the UK, added: “The next phase of the WIST program ensures the British Armed Forces have adequate equipment, training and support available to continuously meet their operational needs. Through collaborations, the WIST program maintains all relevant helicopter capabilities in the country thanks to the state-of-the-art technologies of our industrial site and highly qualified workers ".

Keith Bethell, DE&S (Defense Equipment & Support) Director Helicopters, said: “The first operational redeployment of our Carrier Strike Group has highlighted once again how important the role the Wildcats play today, and will continue to play, in the face of emerging and evolving threats to the UK.

This new phase of support services will ensure that Navy and Army frontline personnel continue to be well trained, supported and equipped to keep our country and our allies around the world safe. ".

The contract will support over 340 jobs, mainly in the South West of England at the Yeovilton naval base, where the Wildcat training center and operational departments are located, and at the Leonardo plant in Yeovil, home to the offices where the joint teams of the WIST program composed of Leonardo and UK Ministry of Defense personnel.

The AW159 is a modern and agile multi-role twin-engine helicopter used around the world as an anti-ship and anti-submarine platform. The world fleet recently exceeded 80.000 flight hours. There are currently more than 70 AW159s in the world capable of carrying out various types of land and sea missions with various operators, including the United Kingdom Army and Navy.