Yeovilton Air Day 2012

One of the region's top air shows is held at the Royal Navy's Yeovilton air base.

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Yeovil company to benefit from £760 million deal

Some very welcome news on the jobs front at the Agusta Westland company in Yeovil today. It has won a contract to convert twenty five RAF Merlin helicopters for Royal Navy use, securing work for years to come.

Its existing contract to service the army's Apache Attack helicopters has also been renewed for another five years. The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced the deal worth £760 million, at a visit to the Yeovil site this morning. Bob Cruwys reports:

Helicopter contracts will give workers security

Agusta Westland in Yeovil has won a contract to convert 25 RAF Merlin helicopters for Royal Navy use.

Its existing contract to service the army's Apache Attack helicopters has also been renewed for another five years.

The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced the deal, worth seven hundred and sixty million pounds, at a visit to the Yeovil site this morning. He said workers at the plant can now have a "sense of security":

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Defence Secretary announces new contracts in Yeovil

Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond has announced two new contracts at a helicopter manufacturers in Yeovil.

The contracts, with the Ministry of Defence, include one to convert 25 Merlin Helicopter for Royal Navy use.

Philip Hammond meeting apprentices at AgustaWestland
Philip Hammond meeting apprentices at AgustaWestland after announcing 2 new MoD contracts. Credit: ITV News West Country

The Merlin helicopters will be moved from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire to replace ageing Sea King aircraft at RNAS Yeovilton. The conversion will involve installing a folding rotor head and folding tail.

The RAF Merlin which will be adapted for use by the Royal Navy.
The RAF Merlin helicopters will be adapted for use by the Royal Navy. Credit: ITV News West Country

Defence Secretary has good news for Westlands

Philip Hammond will visit Agusta Westland today Credit: ITV News West Country

The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is visiting Agusta Westland in Yeovil Today.

He is expected to announce plans to convert 25 RAF Merlin helicopters for use by the Royal Navy. The aircraft will replace the ageing fleet of Sea Kings at RNAS Yeovilton.

Mr Hammond will also announce a renewed five year maintenance contract for Apache helicopters

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Yeovilton Navy helicopter 'written off in crash landing'

The helicopter's tail being salvaged. Credit: Breaking News Somerset and Beyond

There are unconfirmed reports that a Sea King helicopter has been written off in a crash landing on Thursday. No one was seriously injured in the incident, which happened during a training exercise, but the helicopter is reported to be beyond repair.

Witnesses have commented on Facebook that the crew are 'lucky to be alive'. No one at the MoD was available for comment.

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Yeovilton helicopter crew join Royal Navy drugs bust

A helicopter crew from RNAS Yeovilton assisted sailors aboard HMS Lancaster seize 22 bales of pure cocaine from a speedboat near Puerto Rico, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The RNAS Yeovilton-based MK8 Lynx helicopter launched from HMS Lancaster in the drugs raid. Credit: Ministry of Defence

The drugs, which have an estimated street value of £100 million, were handed over to the Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo and then the authorities in Puerto Rico.

Sailors onboard HMS Lancaster carry away part of a major drugs haul. Credit: MoD

The Royal Navy mobilised a Lynx helicopter, which is based at RNAS Yeovilton, and high-speed pursuit boat in order to intercept the speedboat suspected of smuggling drugs.

The boat used by the suspected drug smugglers. Credit: MoD

The Ministry of Defence said that the three people on board initially tried to dispose of the evidence by throwing the drugs overboard, but this was recovered by divers.

The suspected drugs smugglers ultimately cooperated with the Royal Navy.

The boat used by the suspected drug smugglers. Credit: MoD

Yeovilton helicopter crew join Royal Navy drugs bust

A helicopter crew from RNAS Yeovilton assisted sailors aboard HMS Lancaster seize 22 bales of pure cocaine from a speedboat near Puerto Rico, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The RNAS Yeovilton-based MK8 Lynx helicopter launched from HMS Lancaster in the drugs raid. Credit: Ministry of Defence

The drugs, which have an estimated street value of £100 million, were handed over to the Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo and then the authorities in Puerto Rico.

Sailors onboard HMS Lancaster carry away part of a major drugs haul. Credit: MoD

The Royal Navy mobilised a Lynx helicopter, which is based at RNAS Yeovilton, and high-speed pursuit boat in order to intercept the speedboat suspected of smuggling drugs.

The boat used by the suspected drug smugglers. Credit: MoD

The Ministry of Defence said that the three people on board initially tried to dispose of the evidence by throwing the drugs overboard, but this was recovered by divers.

The suspected drugs smugglers ultimately cooperated with the Royal Navy.

The boat used by the suspected drug smugglers. Credit: MoD
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