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DSEI 2023: Leonardo Helicopters promotes exports success as UK set to progress NMH competition

Leonardo Helicopters showcased the AW149 it is bidding for the UK NMH requirement at the DSEI 2023 event in London. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Leonardo Helicopters has highlighted recent exports success as it prepares for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to launch the second phase of its New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement.

Timed to coincide with the biannual DSEI defence exhibition in London, the announcement on 11 September is part of a wider push by Leonardo to promote itself as ‘The Home of British Helicopters' as it looks to secure the UK requirement for 36–44 new rotorcraft to replace the Airbus SA 330E Puma HC2 and three other military types.

“At the DSEI defence and security exhibition taking place this week in London, Leonardo has revealed new figures that demonstrate how its UK onshore helicopters business, recently granted official status as the ‘Home of British Helicopters', continues to compete effectively in export markets,” the Yeovil-based manufacturer said. “The headline figure, GBP1.6 billion (USD2 billion) in helicopters exports over the last 18 months, includes orders for the design, development, and manufacture of advanced new aircraft, capability upgrade programmes for existing helicopters, and the provision of support services for aircraft already in service around the world. This is on top of an additional GBP5 billion in helicopters exports secured over the preceding nine years.”

With Yeovil the site of production for the AW159 Wildcat and AW101 Merlin military helicopters, Leonardo is hoping to add to that portfolio the AW149 it is now bidding for NMH.

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