AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters team up to develop light helicopter for civil applications

FARNBOROUGH, England, 12 July 2012. Two major European helicopter manufacturers are teaming up to design an all-new single-engine light helicopter with a gross weight of 5,500 pounds -- similar to the Bell 214 B-1 -- for search-and-rescue, oil and gas, transport, and other applications.

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company based in Samarate, Italy, and Farnborough, England, signed a preliminary agreement this week at the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, England, to work together with Russian Helicopters JSC in Moscow to design, build, and sell an all-new 2.5 metric tonne-class single-engine helicopter. The equivalent of 2.5 metric tonnes is 5,512 pounds.

“This agreement further expands our strong and successful co-operation with Russian Helicopters," says AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini. "Having established Helivert to assemble the AW139 in Russia, this program marks the next step up in terms of co-operation to address the future needs of the worldwide market.”

Helivert is a Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland equal joint venture established in June 2011 to manufacture the civil AW139 medium twin helicopter in Russia.

The AgustaWestland/Russian Helicopters project to design and build a new light-to-medium-lift helicopter together will be shared on a 50/50 basis, with the new helicopter being designed for the worldwide market and a wide range of applications, company officials say.

The new helicopter would fit in the Russian Helicopters product line between the company's 3,200-pound-gross-weight Mi-34C1 light utility helicopter and the 7,940-pound-gross-weight Ka-226T light multi-purpose helicopter.

AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters assemble the AW139 helicopter at a new plant in Tomilino Russia, near Moscow. The plant will meet the growing demand for the AW139 helicopter for civil applications in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, with production starting this year, company officials say.

AgustaWestland builds helicopters at factories in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the United States. Russian Helicopters is a subsidiary of UIC Oboronprom -- a part of Russian Technologies State Corp. It is the only helicopter design and production company in Russia.

Russian Helicopters has five production facilities, two design bureaus, a spare parts production and repair facility, after-sales service branch for maintenance and repair.

For more information contact AgustaWestland online at www.agustawestland.com, or Russian Helicopters at www.russianhelicopters.aero. Also follow Military & Aerospace Electronics and Avionics Intelligence daily Farnborough show coverage online at www.militaryaerospace.com/farnborough-report.

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