Last week, at the Farnborough Airshow, Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland signed a heads of agreement to jointly develop an all-new 2.5 tonne class single-engine helicopter. The agreement was signed by Bruno Spagnolini, chief executive of AgustaWestland, and Russian Helicopters chief executive Dmitry Petrov. The overall programme will be shared on a 50/50 basis, with the new helicopter being designed for the worldwide market and a wide range of applications.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dmitry Petrov said: "We are pleased to be expanding our partnership with AugustaWestland to include the development of this new light helicopter. Co-operation with other global leaders represents an important component of our strategy as we continue developing new products to meet the constantly evolving demands of our customers around the world." Bruno Spagnolini said: "This agreement further expands our strong and successful co-operation with Russian Helicopters. Having established Helivert to assemble the AW139 in Russia, this programme marks the next step up in terms of co-operation to address the future needs of not only the important and growing Russian market but also the worldwide market."
AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters established the joint venture company HeliVert in 2010 to assemble AW139 helicopters at a new plant in Tomilino, near Moscow. The plant will meet the growing demand for the AW139 helicopter in both Russian and CIS civil markets with production starting this year.