DSEI 2021: Leonardo Unveil UK Medium Helicopter Bid Team

Leonardo is putting forward its latest-generation military AW149 helicopter for the British Army’s New Medium Helicopter requirement focused on replacing the Puma. At DSEI 2021 Leonardo highlighted nine UK-based suppliers from across the North-West, North-East and other UK regions which will help deliver a British-made AW149 platform if it is chosen to replace the Puma by the UK’s Ministry of Defence

More than 70 UK-based companies including Abaco Systems, Aerco, Chelton, Ford Aerospace, Forged Solutions, Incora, LFD, RDDS Avionics and Techtest Limited. Leonardo pushed the ‘Britishness’ of Team AW149 UK in the face of a number of other rivals launching their bids. Lockheed Martin may submit the tried and tested UH-60M Black Hawk, Boeing may offer up their MH-139 Grey Wolf, while Airbus will submit their H175M and Bell has a number options including the 525 Relentless.

Nick Whitney, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters (UK), said:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity today to introduce Team AW149 UK and highlight some of the leading small and medium-sized British companies who will be involved in delivering the AW149 for the UK Armed Forces should we be selected. The companies we’re spotlighting today are diverse in what they do and where they’re located but they and we at Leonardo have one important thing in common, which is a commitment to providing the UK Armed Forces with the most modern, capable and cost-effective medium helicopter to meet their operational needs.”

Leonardo AW149 at DSEI 2021 (Matthew Moss)

The UK’s New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement has not yet been officially announced but is highly anticipated as the Puma’s out of service date approaches. The new helicopter will replace not only the Westland-Aerospatiale Puma but also the Bell 212, Bell 412, and Airbus Dauphin. Leonardo stated that between 60 and 70% of the platform’s content and support being carried out “onshore in the UK at Leonardo and through UK suppliers.”