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AgustaWestland and CEIIA sign R&D, Design and Engineering contract

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that it has signed a six year contract with CEIIA of Portugal for the Research and Development, Design and Engineering Project (RDE) during an official ceremony held in Lisbon today and presided by the Minister of Economy and Innovation of Portugal, Manuel Pinho.

Under this contract Portuguese companies and universities will be involved in diversified aerospace-related projects. The main aeronautical fields targeted include mechanical systems, interiors, structures and composites, electronic and software systems.

This contract follows major achievements performed in August comprising the setting up of AgustaWestland Portugal subsidiary to provide complete helicopter support services, the contract with Locação de Equipamentos de Defesa SA (DEFLOC) for the long term provision of support for the Portuguese Air Force AW101 helicopters through the Full In Service Support (FISS) and the offset agreement amendment including aerospace manufacturing and engineering services.

Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, AgustaWestland said "We are delighted to have signed this latest agreement which represents the initial step to meet the long term plans defined for AgustaWestland Portugal. The RDE project is clear evidence of AgustaWestland's commitment to bringing specific experience and knowledge into local industries and universities. We are committed to increasingly getting closer to our customers as well as to enabling local companies to play major roles as AgustaWestland Portugal's subcontractors to exploit future business opportunities of mutual benefit".

A number of highly skilled engineers will be engaged and significant investments will be dedicated to state-of-the-art infrastructure of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and training activities, aimed at enhancing engineers' skills to enable CEIIA to compete in the worldwide aerospace market.

CEIIA, as the leader of the "Pólo de Competitividade e Tecnologia" for the Aeronautical cluster, will allow the creation and rapidly foster the expansion and alignment of the Portuguese supply base to international markets and standards, thereby widening the potential customer base for the Portuguese players within the Aeronautical worldwide market.

Press release issued by Leonardo Helicopters on December 22, 2008


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