Leonardo Helicopters secure £293m military deal

A five-year, multi-million-pound deal has been secured by Yeovil-based Leonardo Helicopters to maintain its existing fleet of 50 Apache attack helicopters.

Leonardo is the largest inward investor in the UK defence sector - image courtesy of Leonardo Helicopters.
Leonardo is the largest inward investor in the UK defence sector – image courtesy of Leonardo Helicopters.

Leonardo is the largest inward investor in the UK defence sector, the largest Italian inward investor to the UK, and one of the biggest suppliers of defence equipment to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), according to the company.

The contract, awarded by the MOD, will enable the manufacturer to maintain the Apache fleet until it’s out of service date in March 2024.

The Apache MK1 is being incrementally replaced by the latest Apache AH-64E aircraft, which will begin entering service with the British Army in 2022.

The new AH-64E model will have improved sensors and avionics as well as greater performance capabilities that will enable the British Army to remain advanced in future operations.

The deal includes deep maintenance, repair and an overhaul of the MK1 aircraft as well as the provision of technical and spares support.

Last May, the MOD announced the delivery of the first Commando Merlin Mk4 helicopters designed for Royal Marine aircraft carrier operations. This saw a £388m contract supporting 175 skilled jobs in Yeovil and a further 500 across the UK supply chain.

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “The Apache has provided years of crucial battlefield support to UK and coalition troops in operations in Libya and Afghanistan. This multi-million-pound contract will ensure our Armed Forces continue to benefit from this vital capability as we integrate the latest Apache model into service in 2022.”

Investment in UK manufacturing

toyota corolla - image courtesy of toyota
The new Toyota Corolla model – image courtesy of Toyota.