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16 juillet 2014 3 16 /07 /juillet /2014 16:50
New multi-million-pound missiles secure 300 UK jobs

Computer-generated image of the Royal Navy's Wildcat attack helicopter fitted with next-generation precision missiles [Picture: AgustaWestland]


16 July 2014 Ministry of Defence, Philip Dunne MP and Defence Equipment and Support


The Royal Navy's new Wildcat helicopters are to be fitted with £90 million missiles thanks to a contract that will sustain 300 UK jobs.


The next-generation precision future anti-surface guided weapon (FASGW) (heavy) and FASGW (light) missiles will be integrated, tested and installed on 28 Wildcat helicopters by 2020. Capable of targeting small boats, fast attack craft and targets on land, each airframe is able to carry up to 20 missiles.

The FASGW programme has protected over 300 jobs across the United Kingdom and will sustain a number of additional jobs at AgustaWestland’s plant in Yeovil, Somerset, which employs over 3,000 people.

An initial £500 million investment into the highly advanced anti-ship missiles was the first new collaborative equipment project to follow the Anglo-French summit which took place at RAF Brize Norton in January.

Making the announcement at the Farnborough International Air Show today, 16 July, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:

FASGW state-of-the-art missiles will provide Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters with unparalleled strike capabilities. I take great pride that these missiles are being made in Britain by British experts, with more than 300 jobs sustained from Belfast to Somerset.

These missiles are also evidence of our close partnership and growing interoperability with France. This was further strengthened yesterday when the [former] Defence Secretary signed further understandings to bolster co-operation for acquisition and support of military equipment.

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16 juin 2014 1 16 /06 /juin /2014 15:50
MOD Minister announces FASGW(L) contract for Thales


Eurosatory, 16th June 2014 - Thales


Philip Dunne MP, Minister of Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, today announced that Thales has been awarded a contract worth €56 million (£48 million) from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the demonstration and manufacture of the Future Anti Surface Guided Weapon (Light) system.


The contract covers the development, qualification and integration of the FASGW(L) system – which comprises a five barrel launcher and a laser guidance system – for the Agusta Westland AW159 Wildcat helicopter, and provision of deployable test equipment.


FASGW(L) is designed to use Thales’s Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM). LMM is a precision strike missile that can be fired from a variety of land, sea and airborne tactical platforms. It will provide the Royal Navy with a versatile, rapidly-deployable and highly-effective capability to defeat the threat from small ships and inshore attack craft.


The Minister made the announcement during a visit to Thales’s Belfast facility, where both LMM and the FASGW equipment will be manufactured. This significant contract will sustain up to 60 jobs at the site and will provide additional opportunities for the supply chain partners in the UK and overseas.


Accompanied by Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales UK, and David Beatty, Vice President of Advanced Weapon Systems for Thales UK, the Minister was given a tour of the Belfast facility and a briefing on the technologies, products and capabilities at the site.


Victor Chavez said, “Some 450 of Thales’s 7,500 UK workforce are based at the Belfast site and we are proud that the company is an important source of high-technology and highly-skilled employment in the region. We are delighted with this award of the FASGW(L) contract as it will deliver a leading-edge weapons capability to the Royal Navy to defeat conventional and asymmetric threats.

“Thales’s LMM is the first lightweight missile in the world to be designed to integrate onto tactical air, land and naval platforms and there is much global interest in the capabilities it can deliver. This contract award will provide a great boost for our overseas prospects, as it shows the trust that MOD UK has placed in Thales to deliver this new advanced weapon system”.

“This contract is great news for Thales and Northern Ireland. The 60 jobs sustained represent experts in Advanced Weapons system design and manufacturing, and I am pleased that a similar number of jobs will be sustained throughout the programme’s supply chain.
I want to give the Armed Forces the battle-winning equipment they deserve, and this highly complex weapon system will provide Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters with unparalleled strike capabilities. I take great pride that these missiles are being made in the United Kingdom”

Philip Dunne, Minister of Defence Equipment, Support and Technology.

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19 mars 2014 3 19 /03 /mars /2014 08:50
Wildcat Type 45 Destroyer Deck Landing First


18/03/2014 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter


The Royal Navy's next-generation AgustaWestland Wildcat helicopter has landed on a Type 45 Destroyer's deck for the first time. The landing paves the way for the Wildcat to start replacing the Fleet Air Arm's Westland Lynx HMA8 helicopter from 2015 onwards.


Currently, the Wildcat is being trialled by 700W Naval Air Squadron based at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset, UK. Five Wildcat airframes are being routinely put through their paces ahead of the type's scheduled entry-into-service next year.


Two variants of the Wildcat have been developed - one for the Royal Navy, the other for the British Army. The Fleet Air Arm will get 28 Wildcats and they'll be equipped with two new weapons - the LMM (Lightweight Multirole Missile) and the FASGW (Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon) - along with heavy and general purpose machine guns.


Wildcat Destroyer Landing


The Wildcat Destroyer landing trial involved HMS Dragon - the fourth Type 45 ship produced, which was handed over to the Royal Navy in August 2011. Like its counterparts HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless, HMS Diamond, HMS Defender and HMS Duncan, HMS Dragon is a multirole-capable vessel capable of undertaking surveillance, anti-piracy, disaster relief aid and other missions.


Its flight deck can accommodate two Wildcats or a single Westland Merlin HM1 anti-submarine helicopter and its armament includes the Sea Viper air defence system, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and a 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun.


Type 45 Deck Trials


"Today is a small, but exciting, step in the progression of this new capability and I am delighted that HMS Dragon was able to help", commanding officer, Captain Iain Lower, explained in a statement on the Type 45 deck trials. "I look forward to seeing what the aircraft can do when we put it through its paces later this month."


"This year will be one of many firsts for the Wildcat crews as we work with our industry partners to get the aircraft to sea as soon as we can", added 700W NAS' commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Simon Collins, in the MoD's Wildcat deck landing press release. "Deck landings on board a Type 45 at sea are a real milestone and it was a pleasure to join the HMS Dragon team to show them what Wildcat can do."

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18 mars 2014 2 18 /03 /mars /2014 19:50
New Wildcat helicopter drops in on HMS Dragon

    A Wildcat, the navy's next-generation helicopter, has landed for the first time on the flight deck of a Type 45 destroyer at sea.


Mar 18, 2014 ASDNews Source : Ministry of Defence


The Royal Navy’s Wildcat, the maritime attack variant of the Lynx helicopter, is currently undergoing extensive trials with 700W Naval Air Squadron. As part of those trials, the aircraft has been working at the MOD’s aerial range in Cardigan Bay.


From next year, Wildcat will begin to replace the Lynx Mark 8 as the helicopter which supports Royal Navy destroyer and frigate operations around the world.


Read more

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 16:50
Image of the Day: 11 June 2013 by UK MoD

11 June 2013 UK MoD


The Wildcat, the Royal Navy's next-generation helicopter, is undergoing a crucial workout off the south coast of England. Test pilots, specialist engineers and technicians have already carried out trials at sea and noted the helicopter's flight characteristics to enable them to set the limits for it to be safely operated at sea. The lessons being learned will help the Fleet Air Arm devise the training courses for the Wildcat aircrews of tomorrow. [Picture: Crown copyright]

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