Contributing to the UK's national Covid-19 effort

05 May 2020

During the current global pandemic, Leonardo’s UK business has stepped up to provide support to customers, employees and health workers across the country. Health and safety has remained our top priority to ensure that we minimise the burden on the NHS while working hard to deliver on our promises, which extend to activities defined by the UK Ministry of Defence (UK MOD) as critical, on which our nation and UK allies rely.

British Army AW159 Wildcat helicopters and Royal Navy AW101 Merlin helicopters have been deployed to support UK efforts to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. They form part of the Aviation Task Force which provides airborne capability to the UK MOD Covid-19 Support Force. The Army Air Corps’ Wildcats operating out of RNAS Yeovilton, and the Royal Navy Merlins stationed at RNAS Culdrose have been covering the South of England, while British Army Wildcats detached to RAF Leeming have been supporting operations across the North of England.

Leonardo employees throughout the UK have also answered the national call, manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help protect UK National Health Service (NHS) staff and critical workers in the communities surrounding our UK sites. Using additive manufacturing and 3D printing capability, our staff has quickly turned their engineering skills to the production of protective face shields that can be used by those who are helping the country in hospitals and care homes, as well as for our colleagues working on UK-critical programmes.

Some of our employees have been designated by the Government as ‘key workers’ to ensure we maintain critical output, and we have taken every measure to ensure that they can work safely on our sites. Our engineers have also come up with a unique way to adapt social distancing methods in our helicopter cockpits by modifying helmet and oxygen masks to ensure crew safety. We are extremely thankful to those colleagues who continue to work on-site during this emergency.

Despite the nationwide lockdown, Leonardo’s UK STEM Ambassadors have taken steps to produce some inspiring and fun activities for children to try at home. At a time when the schools are closed and parents are having to take on some unexpected teaching roles, our STEM@Home series has provided quality education resources thanks to the boundless enthusiasm of our young engineers.

Up to 70% of our 7,000 UK employees is now able to work from home, and we have procured thousands of extra laptops and invested in our network infrastructure to help everyone who can work remotely to do so. To support this significant change in our working practices, we have been publishing a series of articles about Adjusting to Working from Home.

We are grateful to everyone in the UK business for working so hard to continue to support our customers, and, just as importantly, for adapting so quickly to our new working environment either on-site or at home.