The first of 11 AgustaWestland A109 LOH (light observation helicopters) was handed over to the Malaysian army at the end of last year, during the country’s biennial Langkawi airshow. The start of training for (initially) five pilots began at the same time, coincidentally as an earlier contract to train Royal Malaysian Navy crews on their six new AW Super Lynx 300s came to a successful conclusion.
Eurocopter added a large order to its book just before the Farnborough airshow opened when the Australian government signed a contract on June 30 for 34 more NH90 military helicopters for its army, increasing its total orders to 46 aircraft. Australia placed its first order for 12 MRH-90s, as they are designated down under, less than two years ago.
AgustaWestland is not relocating all its military helicopter manufacturing to the UK, as had been assumed by some in the wake of last month’s dual announcements of a UK Ministry of Defence order for 70 Future Lynx helicopters and the news that the firm’s AW149 model will be built at its facility at Yeovil in southwest England.
Britain’s Marshall Aerospace group (Hall 4 Stand A12) and U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin is celebrating a 40-year relationship that looks set to continue for about another 25 years. The two companies have worked together since the mid-1960s to support British operations of C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft and will be in a new contract expected to run until about 2030.
Doncasters (Hall 4 Stand G10) has been selected by AgustaWestland to produce exhaust kits for the US101 helicopter. The kit includes pipes and ducting in nickel and titanium alloys. The UK-based metal component manufacturer is manufacturing such kits for the EH101, of which the US101 is the U.S. presidential transport version.
The Canadian government would like to acquire 16 more military helicopters for troop and cargo transport, but has so far determined that only the Boeing CH-47 Chinook meets its requirements. Other potential bidders have 30 days to show they have an aircraft that could meet these requirements. Deliveries of the aircraft are to begin within 36 months of contract signing.
Marshall Aerospace (Hall 4 Stand A12) comes to the Farnborough airshow fresh from winning a £1.52 billion ($2.87 billion) contract to maintain 24 Lockheed C-130K and 25 C-130J Hercules transports flying with Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF).
The recent announcement that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a strategic partnering agreement (SPA) with AgustaWestland marks a new chapter in the development of the widely used Lynx helicopter. For, at the same time of the agreement, AgustaWestland was awarded a contract, which launches the Future Lynx program.
Lockheed Martin UK awarded Thales UK an “intention to proceed” contract to upgrade the acoustics system of in-service EH101 Merlin HM Mk1 helicopters operated by the Royal Navy. Worth £27 million ($50 million), the contract covers 30 aircraft with an option for eight more.
Israel’s Plasan Sasa, a supplier of ballistic armor products, has been awarded a contract as a subcontractor for Permali Gloucester, the Royal Air Force’s sole source supplier for armor projects. This contract, valued at several million dollars, is a follow-on to a previous award made in 2003.