Chance to see British-made Navy helicopters and radio tech from Leonardo on-board the UK’s new HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier in Liverpool

Liverpool  26 February 2020 10:00

  • Wildcat and Merlin helicopters, which are built by Leonardo in Somerset and help protect the Royal Navy’s 65,000-tonne carriers, will be proudly on display when the ship docks in Liverpool
  • Leonardo is one of the UK’s top defence and security companies, with around 7,000 employees in-country. It is the main electronics supplier for the UK’s military aircraft and a core member of Team Tempest, the project to make Britain’s next-gen combat jet
  • The UK’s carrier strike capability is backed by Leonardo technology including secure communications and thermal imaging sensors for flight approach monitoring and high fidelity situational awareness

Liverpool, 26th February 2020 – Visitors to the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales, which will dock in Liverpool to welcome members of the public from February 29 to March 1, will be able to see advanced military helicopters and other UK-manufactured technology from defence and security company Leonardo on-board. In pride of place will be Leonardo’s AW159 Wildcat and AW101 Merlin helicopters, which keep watch over the carrier and the surrounding seas, ensuring the ship and its crew are well protected from enemy submarines, surface ships, aircraft and missiles.

Proudly made in Britain and exported worldwide, the Wildcat and Merlin helicopters are manufactured in Yeovil at the UK’s only factory capable of producing a complete helicopter, from its early design to its testing and manufacture. Leonardo also equips the HMS Prince of Wales with a secure and resilient communications network which connects crewmembers stationed throughout the 65,000-tonne warship. Keeping the HMS Prince of Wales in touch with the rest of the fleet, Leonardo also provides secure messaging equipment for the Royal Navy’s ships and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s Tide-class tankers, which provide essential support to the carriers, all from its factory in Southampton.

Leonardo has around 7,000 employees based across the UK, including hundreds of highly skilled engineers and scientists designing and building some of the nation’s most advanced security technology. The firm is one of the four British companies working on the UK’s next generation ‘Tempest’ combat jet and its Northern-most factory in Edinburgh is developing the new radar for the Royal Air Force’s Typhoon aircraft. With many of the company’s projects having a military focus, this visit by HMS Prince of Wales will be the first opportunity for many members of the public to engage with Leonardo’s cutting-edge technology face-to-face.

Leonardo, which is a member of the UK Naval Engineering, Science & Technology (UKNEST) forum, also provides capabilities for the carrier in partnership with other companies. The company’s thermal imaging detectors from its Southampton site, which have been used to film nighttime segments in BBC nature documentaries such as Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Seven Worlds, One Planet, form part of the carrier’s Electro-Optical Systems from Ultra Electronics. Leonardo’s engineers have also integrated new Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems from BAE Systems.