AgustaWestland and Tata Sons sign MoU for AW119 helicopter final assembly in India
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and Tata Sons signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the formation of an Indian joint venture company which will establish a final assembly line for the AW119 helicopter in India.
The agreement was signed at the Aero India air show today by Mr. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO of AgustaWestland, and Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons.
The 8-place AW119 is the fastest and most spacious single-engine helicopter in production today, delivering high levels of productivity, performance and safety. Over 190 helicopters have been ordered to date by almost 90 customers in nearly 30 countries.
The joint venture company will be responsible for AW119 final assembly, completion and delivery to customers worldwide while AgustaWestland will retain responsibility for worldwide marketing and sales. The first aircraft is scheduled to be delivered from the new facility in 2011 with production forecast to rise to 30 aircraft per year to meet worldwide demand.
It is envisaged that the joint venture company would be a supplier for the current Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter (RSH) programme of the Indian Armed Forces, for which AgustaWestland has already proposed the AW119 to be manufactured in India.
Additionally, AgustaWestland and Tata companies plan to explore additional commercial opportunities in India for AgustaWestland helicopters and the subsequent industrial co-operation.
AgustaWestland products have been operating in India for 40 years with dozens helicopters ordered and delivered to perform both military and commercial roles. Helicopters produced by this Finmeccanica company in fact are in service with the Indian Navy.
Moreover, all the current commercial range products such as the AW119, the AW109 Power, the Grand and the AW139 have achieved a relevant success in India in just four years with orders for more than 20 units.
VIP/Corporate transport and Offshore transport are included among the operational applications performed by these latest models. The Indian commercial helicopter market is rapidly expanding while various military programmes offer opportunities for up to 500 helicopters in the forthcoming years.
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