Looks like Airbus is trying to get their foot in the door. At a RAeS conference on Next-Gen Rotorcraft, they have pitched A militarised version of the the H175 for UK production and export
Seems a slightly modest and cramped (see below) option considering they have: NH90, Super Puma and even the much larger Super Cougar for sale, though perhaps this is a production line they're willing to give up (it's produced in China as the Avicopter AC352):
Hopefully Leonardo will make a compelling, competing offer for the AW149 to keep Yeovil open, or we finally give into the Blackhawk in its twilight years.
FG Article on H175 upgrades (sorry I don't have a subscription):
https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 60.article
Must say I found the Flight Global article on the Airbus ambition to replace Puma with H175 quite intriguing https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 73.article
A number of thoughts:
1) Just because one might make a capability case to replace Puma doesn't necessarily mean that one should. Introducing a new aircraft type brings with it a large non-recurring cost and the judgment might be made to spend the money on a higher priority.
2) I've seen plenty of articles on how Puma, and thus a similar sized helicopter, is really useful. But that's very different from saying one's essential. It might be or not be so.
3) Whatever the rights and wrongs of Brexit the UK is no longer bound to follow EU defence procurement rules (with its complex tendering requirements, industrial offset, exemptions and derogations). European suppliers might therefore feel they need to make a better overall offer to the UK than hitherto.
4) The H175 seems not to be a military type aircraft. This is important because to enter UK military service it would need to be certified against UK defence airworthiness requirements. This all takes cost and time and previous experience of certifying civil aircraft types for military use hasn't always been plane sailing (no pun intended).