A TOTAL of 340 engineering roles across the south west will be sustained thanks to the delivery of the next stage of a military helicopter support and training programme.

Aerospace engineers and apprentices at Leonardo’s site in Yeovil are among the positions sustained by the programme, as well as staff at RNAS Yeovilton.

The stage of the programme now underway is worth £360 million and is part of the Wildcat Integrated Support and Training (WIST) programme.

The programme ensures that AW159 helicopters in the UK will received scheduled maintenance, better technical support, and extensive training for aircrew and engineers.

Engineers at Leonardo’s site in Yeovil will work closely with the Ministry of Defence to ensure these duties are carried out.

Defence minister Jeremy Quin said: “Wildcat helicopters play a vital role in supporting our Armed Forces through reconnaissance, protection and transport.

“I am delighted they will continue to receive high-quality technical support and training from Leonardo UK.”

At the start of the pandemic, the AW159 helicopters were deployed to help the Ministry of Defence transport essential medical staff and equipment to tackle the virus.

Written by Jamie Grover (@JamieGrover9)

Video: Crown Copyright.