Gloucester composite design and manufacturer wins £2 million helicopter contract

Leonardo Helicopter

Gloucester composite design and manufacturer, Permali Gloucester Limited, has been contracted by Leonardo Helicopters to supply comprehensive ballistic protection for the Royal Navy’s new Commando Merlin Mk4 helicopters.  The requirement, valued at over £2 million, will create and sustain skilled composite manufacturing jobs at Permali’s factory in Gloucester.

The Commando Merlin is an advanced battlefield helicopter designed for amphibious operations, and will be tasked with delivering troops and supplies into conflict zones as well as supporting humanitarian operations.  Permali’s ballistic solution will protect the crew and passengers against small arms fire.

Following earlier work on the Merlin Mk2 & Mk3, as well as the previous Commando Sea King fleet, Permali worked closely with Leonardo Helicopters to define the requirement for the Mk4 and will supply a comprehensive package of ballistic protection panels, attachment hardware and custom storage cases.

The new Commando Merlin provides a versatile lift capability with exceptional speed and range, and is also equipped with an advanced Defensive Aids Suite in addition to ballistic protection.

This project joins the wide range of ballistic armour solutions that Permali has supplied to armed forces and OEMs around the world for equipment operating in the Land, Sea and Air domains.

Permali’s Director of Special Projects, Nick Baird, said “We are delighted to continue our close relationship with Leonardo Helicopters, and are honoured to be entrusted with the protection of British military personnel.  The majority of the UK’s Joint Helicopter Command aircraft rely on Permali’s composite ballistic protection expertise, including the Chinook, Puma and Merlin fleets”.

Permali Gloucester Limited  is an independent company specialising in the development and manufacture of advanced, lightweight composite materials and components for the Aerospace, Defence and other industries worldwide.