UK Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the Republic of Korea’s decision to purchase Agusta Westland’s AW159 helicopter for its Navy.
DAPA, Korea’s defence procurement agency, announced this week that the AW159 had beaten off competition from Lockheed Martin’s Seahawk.
Delivery of the eight helicopters will begin in 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2016. The initial order may be followed-up with additional purchases in years ahead.
The Prime Minister said:
This announcement demonstrates Britain’s ability to successfully compete in the global race. I’m delighted the Korean Government has chosen to continue its relationship with AgustaWestland in selecting this state of the art maritime helicopter which will help safeguard high quality jobs and skills in Yeovil and across the country. The Royal Navy already enjoys a very close relationship with Korea, and I have no doubt that this decision will only strengthen further our essential bilateral relationship.
The AW159 is a new generation multi-role military helicopter that is now replacing Lynx helicopters in service with the Royal Navy and British Army.
This is the second major win for the UK defence industry in Korea in less than a year following Rolls Royce’s success in being awarded a contract to supply its MT30 engine for South Korean frigates.