UK Defense Secretary Philip Hammond, MP, joined celebrations marking the first deliveries of the AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat helicopter to the British Army here at the show yesterday. He simultaneously confirmed a contract worth approximately $388 million for training and support. The AW159 is to remain in service until 2044.
The Army accepted the first Wildcat in April and, since then the airframer has delivered four more. The Royal Navy will start receiving its own Lynx successors later this year. Deliveries are to go on until 2016. AgustaWestland is now producing the 16th aircraft, CEO Bruno Spagnolini said.
“Initial operating capability” with the Army is scheduled for 2014. The Navy is to follow suit in 2015. As for exports, Spagnolini noted the potential among the six delegations attending the ceremony.