Industry first as Edinburgh team receives Ministry of Defence award at special ceremony in London

Dave Gourlay, Head of DIRCM Campaigns represented aerospace engineering company Leonardo at a recent ceremony in London to receive a Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS) Commendation.

It is believed that this is the first time that industry has been recognised with this particular award, presented by Admiral Sir Tim Fraser KCB ADC.

Air Survivability refers to an aircraft’s ability to avoid or survive a hostile environment and in 2021, Leonardo and the UK MOD signed a Strategic Partnering Arrangement (SPA) for technology to protect UK military personnel who may fly into harm's way. The SPA was hailed as a trailblazing example of an ambitious transformational and collaborative enterprise and on 1 January 2022, it was announced that the VCDS had awarded the joint MoD and Industry SPA team a commendation for their work.

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The Leonardo team, based at Crewe Toll in Edinburgh, received the award for their outstanding work to deliver highly innovative Air Survivability technology, including infrared countermeasure capability that protects aircraft and passengers around the world from enemy missiles. The SPA has found a new way to develop, deliver and support critical Air Survivability solutions.

Second from the left is Edinburgh team member David Gourlay who accepted the award on the night. (The other awardees represented RAF Capability, RAF Rapid Capabilities Office, DE&S, and Dstl) Pic: Sgt Jimmy Wise

Dave Gourlay was individually recognised within the award for his contribution to the development of the SPA, which boosts air survivability for pilots and passengers.

He said: “This award is really for the team in Edinburgh and all the other award recipients who went above and beyond to make a lasting contribution during the pandemic. It was a real experience to be standing in the same room as the other award recipients and hear about everything they’d contributed against the odds.”

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