Farnborough Air Show

Next-gen Missile To Go On AW159 Wildcat Helicopter

 - July 17, 2014, 3:55 AM
British defense procurement minister Philip Dunne (pictured right) signed the deal with Finmeccanica CEO Mauro Moretti

AgustaWestland (exhibiting here at the Farnborough Airshow with parent Finmeccanica, Outdoor Exhibit 1) gained a contract worth £90 million (around $150 million) here yesterday to integrate Europe’s next-generation maritime missile on the AW159 Wildcat helicopter.

British defense procurement minister Philip Dunne signed the deal with Finmeccanica CEO Mauro Moretti, to add both heavy and light versions of the MBDA Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (FASGW) to the Wildcat. The work will be done in the UK at AW’s Yeovil facility, with firing trials on ranges in northern Scotland and West Wales in 2018-19.

The FASGW development is one of a number of Anglo-French defense co-operation initiatives, since the French will also acquire it. The two countries are spending an initial £500 million on what Dunne described as “an innovative, game-changing capability.” The light version of the FASGW is designed to counter fast-attack craft in littoral waters, while the heavy version is a longer-range anti-ship missile.

The UK is buying 62 Wildcats, of which 28 are naval versions. AgustaWestland (also exhibiting in Hall 1 Stand C9) has already delivered 34. The company is displaying other potential weaponry on the AW159 on its outdoor display here, including the Israeli Spike missile. “There are various options,” said a company spokesman.