AN ENGINEERING company which employs more than 400 people in Southampton has released an independent report showing the value that high-tech intellectual property could play in the UK’s recovery.

The research also says employees at Leonardo are 80 per cent more productive than the UK average, largely because of the intellectual property (IP) generated by its engineers.

The company employs 7,500 people across the UK.

Its base at Nicolson House, on Southampton’s Millbrook Industrial Estate, houses communications, optronics and air traffic management products as well as several air and marine technologies.

An economic impact report produced by the independent analysis group Oxford Economics highlights the importance that UK-generated IP will play in the nation’s recovery.

Norman Bone, chair and managing director of Leonardo in the UK, said of the report: “Creating IP in this country keeps people employed in high-value jobs by generating exports, which is incredibly important as we kickstart the economy.

“Ours are some of the country’s most stable jobs; we elected not to furlough anyone during the Covid-19 crisis, which has had a knock-on benefit for our local economies.

“The important thing is that the UK government continues, alongside us, to invest in Britain’s high-tech engineering sector as we work towards economic recovery.”

Leonardo produces the UK’s AW159 Wildcat and AW101 Merlin helicopters and is involved in other defence electronics programmes, including the new ECRS Mk2 radar for RAF Typhoon.

It is among the founding UK members of the Tempest programme, which is developing the successor to Typhoon, to go into service in 2035.

The company says it is working with the Ministry of Defence to understand Britain’s aspirations for next generation military helicopter technologies, including drones.

It is proposing a UK-built AW19 troop transport helicopter to replace the RAF’s Puma fleet when it goes out of service.

The business says every pound invested Leonardo puts £2.40 into the local economy.


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