Auteur Topic: First Wildcat handed over at Farnborough  (gelezen 2163 keer)

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First Wildcat handed over at Farnborough
« Reactie #2 Gepost op: 12/07/2012 | 10:31 uur »
First Wildcat handed over at Farnborough

11 July 2012

The first of 62 Wildcat helicopters for use by the British Army and Royal Navy has been handed over to the Ministry of Defence at the Farnborough International Air Show.

The Ministry of Defence is buying 34 Wildcats for the army and 28 of the maritime attack variant for the Royal Navy to replace existing Lynxes operating by the Army Air Corps and Fleet Air Arm.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond received the first helicopter from manufacturer AgustaWestland and confirmed that Somerset-based compay has been awarded a 250m in-service training and support contract to be delivered via a specialist training centre at RNAS Yeovilton.

The contract, which will provide flight simulators and other training support, will sustain some 500 jobs.

The army Wildcats, which will largely be used for reconnaissance, are not expected to enter service until 2014, while the Royal Navy's maritime attack variant helicopters will enter service in 2015.

Both variants will carry a general purpose machine gun (GPMG) and heavy machine gun, while the maritime attack helicopter will also carry Sting Ray Torpedoes.

"Wildcat represents a considerable advance over the current Lynx helicopters, bringing greatly improved performance and capability," said Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. "The contract to provide training and support will keep them flying wherever they are needed.

"These helicopters will be a key part of the future equipment programme for the Armed Forces that will see 160bn spent over the next ten years. By balancing the budget, we can deliver the airframes and the millions of pounds of support they require."

Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Wall said: "This is an excellent helicopter, which is very important to the Army Air Corps. We will be seeking to get it fully operational as soon as possible."

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope said: "With state of the art sensors, equipment and weapons, it will be an outstanding asset that will maintain Royal Naval units at the cutting edge of worldwide maritime operations."

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_story.asp?id=20284

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