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General Dynamics Awarded Contract to Update Stores Management System for Royal Navy Wildcat Helicopters

General Dynamics Mission Systems UK has been awarded a contract by Leonardo Helicopters (previously AgustaWestland Limited) to update the Stores Management Systems (SMS) aboard Royal Navy Wildcat Helicopters.

The SMS update will introduce new functionality to control two new missile types, previously known as Future Air to Surface Guided Weapon (FASGW). These missile types are the Sea Venom from MBDA and the Martlet from Thales.

Under the contract, the company will:

  • Develop new safety-critical software to control the complex MIL-STD-1760 missile interfaces.
  • Implement plug and play software architecture, which will significantly reduce the cost of integrating future weapons.
  • Introduce hardware design changes to the existing SMS design to support two additional weapon stations on the helicopter.
  • Design and manufacture a handheld test set to allow the helicopter electrical interfaces to be rapidly tested in conjunction with the SMS built-in-test capability.
  • Re-test and certify the overall SMS functionality in accordance with UK safety standards DEF-STAN 0055/56.
  • Update the existing in-service SMS equipment to the ‘FASGW’ standard.

General Dynamics Mission Systems UK will deliver initial software releases in early 2017 for rig testing at the Leonardo Helicopters facility in Yeovil, England, before flight testing commences later in the year. Missile firing trials and full helicopter clearance testing will continue through 2018 and 2019.

Steve Rowbotham, vice president of General Dynamics Mission Systems–UK, said:

“This contract continues the successful long-term collaborative relationship between General Dynamics Mission Systems UK and Leonardo Helicopters. We have extensive experience in the delivery of cutting-edge electronic systems for fixed-wing and rotary craft, and recognised worldwide as a leader in installing the latest capability onboard in-service and future platforms.”

General Dynamics Mission Systems UK is a key provider of technology onto Eurofighter Typhoon, Tornado and the UK AW159 Lynx Wildcat and AW101 Merlin Mk4/4a helicopter platforms. The company has more than 50 years of experience providing advanced electronic solutions for the air, maritime and land markets.