British Armed Forces Inaugurate a Bespoke Trainer for the AW159 Wildcat

Royal Navy students will get to experience weapon loading training not on the real rotorcraft but on a high-fidelity device that incorporates aircraft systems. It’s the first time they’ve been able to do that since the AW159 Wildcat helicopter entered service.
Leonardo helped introduce a new bespoke trainer for the Wildcat 7 photos
Photo: Leonardo
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Back in 2014, Leonardo was awarded a UK MoD (Ministry of Defense) contract for integrating and testing the MBDA Sea Venom (Heavy) and Thales LMM (Light) missile systems onto the Royal Navy’s Wildcat helicopters. According to Leonardo, the LMM is now successfully integrated. This weapon will help increase the rotorcraft’s efficiency in engaging smaller, asymmetric threats in maritime environments.

As part of the UK MoD’s Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (FASGW) program, Leonardo helped introduce an advanced weapons loading system trainer (WLST). This bespoke trainer developed by Pennant International will help future operators handle weapon loading as efficiently as possible for both legacy weapons and the new systems that were recently integrated.

The new WLST is based at the Wildcat Training Centre at the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) in Yeovilton, Somerset. As Simon Jones, VP of Customer Support and Training at Leonardo Helicopters UK, explains, the main advantage is that the armed forces no longer have to heavily rely on live aircraft for training. It’s a money-saving solution and a time-saving one, allowing Royal Navy students to train while the actual aircraft are deployed elsewhere in various missions.

At a time when frontline Wildcat crews are deploying at pace with a combination of new and existing weapons, the WLST ensures that they are best prepared to safely deliver an enhanced strike capability,” a spokesperson for Defense Equipment & Support (DE&S) stated.

The twin-engine Wildcat is a multi-role platform particularly adapted for anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare. An upgraded version of the highly popular Lynx, the Wildcat blends a robust design and multi-role capabilities with state-of-the-art avionics and increased payload.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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