AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, has announced that a contract has been signed by the Government of India for the acquisition of twelve AW101 helicopters that will perform government transport duties. The contract, valued at around ? 560 million, includes an extensive five year logistic support service and initial aircrew and technician training. Over 180 AW101 helicopters have been ordered by customers around the world so far to perform a wide range of government, public service and military missions. The AW101 has logged nearly 200,000 flight hours in service in Italy, UK, Denmark, Portugal, Japan and Canada whilst delivering exceptional performance and high levels of safety.
Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, AgustaWestland said “This significant order by the Indian Air Force to meet its government transport helicopter requirement confirms the correct vision and strategy of AgustaWestland in India. Several years ago we identified India as one of the pillars of our expansion strategy, from both the market and the industrial points of view. Today we have a significant and growing presence in both the military and commercial markets Additionally we now have strong industrial relations with Tata Son, with whom we have established a Joint Venture initially for the production of the AW119 Koala but soon this will become a wider platform for our growth in the region. The particularly good personal relations with Ratan Tata, who recently visited AgustaWestland at Cascina Costa, will further enhance the joint commitment to the expansion of the helicopter industry in India to satisfy various requirements which are estimated to be valued at ?5-6 billion in the short to medium term.”
AgustaWestland is proud to have been doing business in India for almost 40 years with the delivery, in 1971, of an initial batch of Sea King helicopters to the Indian Navy for anti-submarine warfare. AgustaWestland continues to provide support, training and upgrade services to the Indian Navy for its fleet of Sea King helicopters. In 2005 AgustaWestland sold its first AW109 Power helicopter to the Government of Rajasthan and since then sales of its civil product range have taken-off with orders being placed for over 30 aircraft including additional AW109 Powers, the new Grand light twin engine helicopter, the AW119Ke single engine and the AW139 medium twin.
Recently orders in the commercial market have been made by AgustaWestland’s authorized distributor, Sharp Ocean, for two VIP-configured Grand New light twins and one AW119Ke, marking the entrance of the state-of-the-art Grand New type in the country. With a growing fleet and order book AgustaWestland has also expanded its service network in India to deliver greater levels of local customer service and support through OSS Air Management Pvt.Ltd and Air Works India Engineering Pvt.Ltd, to service and support AgustaWestland’s range of modern high performance commercial helicopters.
Last month AgustaWestland and Tata Sons signed a Shareholders’ Agreement for the formation of an Indian joint venture company which will establish in India a final assembly line for the AW119 helicopter. The AW119 is also the AgustaWestland contender for the Indian Ministry of Defence’s Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter (RSH) programme. An AW119 demonstrator is currently conducting a series of demonstrations to the Indian Armed Force’s as part of the evaluation process for the Indian Ministry of Defence’s RSH programme. The AW119 has already demonstrated its outstanding capabilities operating at altitudes in excess of 6,000 m in the Himalayas and will carry out further demonstrations in hot environmental conditions in the coming months. Additional Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard helicopter requirements for light observation, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, combat, border and coastal patrol duties allows AgustaWestland to foresee a potential market worth approximately ?5-6 billion for over 600 military helicopters in India in the next ten years.