AgustaWestland has awarded a contract to General Dynamics (GD) UK for the delivery of mission system equipment for integration onto the UK Royal Navy's AW101 Merlin Mk4 / 4a helicopters.
The agreement forms part of the UK Ministry of Defence's (MoD) Merlin Life Sustainment Programme (MLSP), awarded to AgustaWestland in January to transform 25 AW101 Merlin helicopters for maritime operations.
GD UK chief operating officer Steve Rowbotham said: "This contract continues the successful, long-term collaborative relationship between General Dynamics UK and AgustaWestland.
"It is testament to the advanced mission systems provided by General Dynamics UK, which are currently installed on a range of fixed-wing and rotary platforms around the world."
GD will be tasked with the delivery of mission system equipment, including a tactical processing system and secure data recorder, which are aimed at offering enhanced performance and capability.
Currently deployed on the UK and export variant of the AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx Wildcat helicopter, the tactical processing systems integrate a range of sensor and application information for display in the cockpit, as well as encrypted data storage and tactical data-link potential.
The secure data recorder meets requirements for manned and unmanned platforms operating in the air, on land and in maritime environments. It also enables users in unfriendly environments to securely record and store data for further deployment.
The data, including mission and digital map data, voice and data communications, as well as tactical mission data, can be transferred on and off across a range of platforms through an encrypted memory cartridge.
Image: A UK AW101 Merlin Mk4 / 4a helicopter. Photo: courtesy of AgustaWestland - a Finmeccanica company.