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Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland start building joint civil AW139 final assembly line plant

Russian Helicopters (subsidiary of JSC UIC Oboronprom, part of Russian Technologies State Corporation) and AgustaWestland (a Finmeccanica company) are pleased to announce that the set up of a joint civil AW139 medium twin helicopter final assembly plant started with a ground-breaking ceremony today. A time capsule was laid in the base of the foundation at the industrial area in Tomilino, near Moscow, during the official ceremony which was attended by representatives and dignitaries from the partners.

The final assembly line is being built on a 40,000 m2 site. The projected capacity is in excess of 20 helicopters per year, with production expected to progressively increase, from 5 units in 2011 to a steady state regime in 2015. The total headcount at maximum capacity will be over 100 people.

The plant, aimed at meeting the requirements of the civil markets in Russia and CIS countries primarily and - through the AgustaWestland network - for the rest of the world, will be run by HeliVert, a Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland "equal" joint venture.

The ground-breaking milestone is the latest achievement under the framework of the strategic cooperation between UIC Oboronprom and AgustaWestland which started in the summer of 2007 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding "for cooperation development in the field of helicopter production". A Heads of Agreement was later signed in Farnborough in July 2008 for the purpose of establishing a joint venture to set up and run a civil AW139 final assembly line in Russia. This was followed by the Joint Venture Agreement signed on November 6th 2008 during the Italy-Russia intergovernmental summit held at the Kremlin in Moscow and attended1by the Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. A shareholder agreement was subsequently signed in June 2010 paving the path to start building the plant in Tomilino.

According to Sergey Chemezov, Director General of Russian Technologies "The organisation of a joint Russian-Italian helicopter assembly plant is a new step in developing our business relations with our strategic partner, Italian company Finmeccanica. This is an important event not only for the helicopter industry, but for Russian mechanical engineering as a whole. It is noteworthy that this is happening in difficult financial and economic conditions and proves that the crisis can and must be fought with joint efforts and using all opportunities."

Oboronprom Director General Andrey Reus said "The start of the plant's construction signifies a new stage of the growing mutually beneficial cooperation between Russian and Italian helicopter manufacturers. Thanks to it we will gain access to new technical production solutions and high helicopter servicing quality standards. We will seek to broaden our cooperation, including by gradually localizing Italian helicopter manufacture in Russia."

"Russian Helicopters is increasing its presence in foreign markets, delivering Russian rotorcraft to foreign customers and opening service centres," Russian Helicopters COO Andrei Shibitov said, "In this respect we are greatly interested in the foreign experience of organizing, managing, planning, certificating production processes and know-how in managing the entire lifecycle of a product. We are set to gain maximum benefit from joint work with our Italian partners. Russian helicopters will strengthen Russia's commercial positions in the international helicopter market."

"We have been building a remarkable industrial base in Russia in recent years by establishing major collaborations with prime local companies in various fields of the civil sector." Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Finmeccanica, said. "This latest landmark provides clear evidence of our commitment to playing an increasing role in the region by the mean of a mutually beneficial industrial cooperation, particularly in the civil rotorcraft sector."

Giuseppe Orsi, Chief Executive Officer of AgustaWestland added "It gives us great pleasure to be here with our Russian partners, both concretely and symbolically, laying the foundations of what we are confident will be a bright future of industrial cooperation based on the world best selling AW139. This model has been identified and selected by Russian industry as the benchmark helicopter in its category to meet a variety of demanding requirements in the Russian and CIS civil markets."

Press release issued by Leonardo-Finmeccanica Helicopters on June 22, 2010


 Contact details from our directory:
Leonardo-Finmeccanica Helicopters Airframer
Russian Helicopters, JSC


 Related aircraft programs:
AgustaWestland AW139


 Related directory sectors:
Manufacturing Services

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