The Demonstration and Manufacture contract for CROWSNEST has been confirmed.

Lockheed Martin UK Ltd

Merlin MK 2 Helicopter — Crowsnest Demonstration and Manufacture.

Anti submarine warfare helicopters. Merlin Crowsnest — Modification and provision of Airborne Surveillance and Control role fit equipment and modification of the Merlin MK 2 Helicopter Fleet.

Value: 275 000 000 GBP

As we know, the Thales system was selected, with Lockheed Martin acting as the prime.

The Assessment Phase cost £27m plus the cost of the FOAEW and MASC programmes that went before it, estimated total assessment phase costs are around £40m

So for a little over £300m the Royal Navy quickly get an upgraded ASaC system into service as the Sea Kings are withdrawn.

The programme will include 10 role fit kits.

It will be interesting to see how it integrates with the sensor and communications systems onboard the F-35B, plenty of interesting potential there.

For such a highly regarded system, seems a low risk and sensible decision that should provide good value for money.

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