Lockheed Martin UK to Study Future MASC Roles for Merlin Helicopters
LONDON, UK, 09-MAY-06 -- Lockheed Martin UK has been awarded a contract by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to study the potential of using Merlin helicopters as a platform for both maritime airborne early warning and command and control.
Under the 15-month programme, Lockheed Martin will lead a three-way team which will include Thales UK and AgustaWestland. The overall study, with a total value of £3.4 million, includes two more contracts which will see AgustaWestland and Thales UK each leading similar teams looking at other airframe and mission system options.
All three contracts are part of the Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control (MASC) programme. MASC is the third component of the UK’s future carrier strike capability and will work with the future aircraft carrier (CVF) and the Joint Strike Fighter to provide airborne early warning and command and control capabilities.
Ron Christenson, group managing director for Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems said: “This award is yet another indication of how the strong collaboration between the Royal Navy and Lockheed Martin since the early 1990s has made the Merlin the very best helicopter system of its kind.”
“This joint approach will allow the MoD to access the very best technological knowledge and experience to drive this important programme forward.”
MASC will replace the current Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control capability, with increased emphasis on command and control functions as the Royal Navy develops its Network Enabled Capability.