AgustaWestland Awarded AW159 Wildcat FASGW Missile Integration Contract
Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that it has signed a contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) valued at £90 million to integrate, test and install the Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (FASGW) Heavy and Light missile systems onto 28 Royal Navy AW159 Wildcat helicopters. The contract award was announced today at the Farnborough International Air Show by Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology.
The two missiles are the MBDA FASGW(Heavy)/ANL (Future Anti Surface Guided Weapon (Heavy)/ Anti Navire Léger) and the Thales Light Multirole Missile (LMM) (FASGW (Light)). Both will be integrated onto the AW159 Wildcat to give it the ability to attack a wide range of surface targets ranging from small high speed surface craft up to large surface vessels such as corvettes, as well as coastal and land targets.
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Finmeccanica - AgustaWestland, said “We are delighted to have secured this contract to equip the Wildcat with these two new technology missiles which will give the Royal Navy an exceptional and flexible anti-surface warfare capability.”
The AW159 Wildcat will be able to carry up to four launchers, two per weapon carrier, each with up to five LMM missiles, or up to four FASGW(H)/ANL missiles with two on each weapon carrier. It will also be able to carry a mixed load of LMM launchers and FASGW(H)/ANL missiles for maximum mission flexibility.
The MBDA FASGW(Heavy)/ANL features a high speed, two-way data-link that communicates the images “seen” by the missile’s seeker to the operator, who, in addition to initiating an autonomous engagement, can alternatively remain in control of the missile throughout the full duration of its flight. This optional, man in the loop monitor and control facility enables new capabilities such as: in-flight re-targeting; final aim point correction and refinement; and safe abort. Ultimately, the missile will be able to engage targets situated out of direct line of sight when the launch platform is able to benefit from third party target designation or laser illumination.
The Thales LMM is a lightweight, precision strike, missile that has been designed to provide a rapid reaction to a wide range of surface naval threats from small ships and fast inshore attack craft as well as on-land surface threats.
The work on this contract will be mainly completed at AgustaWestland’s facility in Yeovil which employs over 3,300 people to undertake the design, development and manufacture of helicopters and the integration of their systems, and provide through life training and support services.
The company is manufacturing 62 Wildcat helicopters for the UK MoD, 28 of which will be operated by the Royal Navy and 34 by the British Army. The Wildcat is replacing the Lynx helicopter and 33 of the 62 aircraft have now been delivered comprising 12 for the Royal Navy and 21 for the British Army.
Source : AgustaWestland, A Finmeccanica Company (Milan: FNC.MI) - view original press release
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