Somerset manufacturer awarded £8m grant to research army helicopter drones

A Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter in flight over Glastonbury Tor. Credit: MOD

The Government says it's working with a Somerset helicopter manufacturer to help develop helicopter drones for the armed forces.

Leonardo Helicopters in Yeovil has been awarded £8 million to conduct the research.

The two year development programme will explore how unmanned aircraft can be used in war zones.

It's hoped the Rotary Wing Unmanned Air Systems (RWUAS) will help support armed forces personnel on the battlefields, by developing new concepts and technologies.

Leonardo's base in Yeovil. Credit: ITV News West Country
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon. Credit: PA

The Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon says it will help maintain the country's military advantage.

The jointly funded programme will utilise the specialist engineering skill base at Leonardo Helicopters by exploring emerging rotary wing technologies and methods.