On June 4, 2o15 AgustaWestland a Finmeccanica subsidiary, announced that it had been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply AW101 Merlin Mk4/4a aircrew synthetic training equipment that will equip a dedicated training facility at RNAS Yeovilton. The contract is valued at approximately £29 million (€40 million).
AgustaWestland conducted a competition for the supply of the training equipment on behalf of the UK MoD, which attracted bids from several UK and international suppliers. Following a robust assessment of the bids, involving project stakeholders and flight simulation experts, CAE has been selected to supply two Flight Training Devices, a Flight Navigation Procedures Trainer and a Rear Crew Trainer.
The training devices will equip a dedicated Merlin Commando Helicopter Force training facility located at the aircraft’s main operating base - RNAS Yeovilton. The training devices will enable multi-aircraft and whole crew training, utilising augmented reality which will further enhance the training experience for the rear crew.
The contract further demonstrates AgustaWestland’s ability to work with the MoD to provide advanced training systems that will deliver value for money. The facility is scheduled to start delivering training courses in late 2017 and will achieve full capability from 2018.
The company has worked closely with the MoD’s Merlin Project Team to develop the Merlin Mk4/4a training requirements and to ensure that the delivery of the training solution is synchronised with the aircraft development and manufacturing programme.
25 AW101 Merlin Mk4/4a helicopters will replace the capability currently provided by Sea King Mk4 helicopters after these are retired from service in 2016. The aircraft are being converted from the Merlin Mk3/3a by AgustaWestland to perform maritime operations and updated to overcome systems obsolescence under the Merlin Life Sustainment Programme (MLSP).