Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, signed a Heads of Agreement at the Farnborough International Airshow to jointly develop an all-new 2.5 tonne class single-engine helicopter. The agreement was signed by Bruno Spagnolini, CEO of AgustaWestland, and Russian Helicopters CEO 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, CEO of Russian Helicopters, 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, AgustaWestland CEO 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.
Russian Helicopters, JSC is a subsidiary of UIC Oboronprom, which in turn is a part of Russian Technologies State Corporation. It is a global leader in helicopter production and the only helicopter design and production powerhouse in Russia. Russian Helicopters is headquartered in Moscow. The company comprises five production facilities, two design bureaus, a spare parts production and repair facility, as well as an after-sales service branch responsible for maintenance and repair in Russia and all over the world.
AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that the AW159 Wildcat Integrated Support and Training (WIST) contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is now operational, providing through life support and training for the Royal Navy and British Army’s new fleet of AW159 Wildcat helicopters that are now entering service. The initial period of the contract will run to March 2017 with a commercial framework in place that will enable the delivery of support and training services until the planned out of service date of the aircraft in 2044, subject to demonstrating continuing value for money.
Work on contract started in early 2012 to ensure the support and training was in place for the commencement of deliveries of AW159 Wildcats in April 2012. The WIST contract will deliver the required levels of aircraft availability at reduced through life costs compared to those of the legacy Lynx fleet and builds on the success of similar Integrated Operational Support (IOS) availability based contracts that AgustaWestland is delivering for the UK MOD AW101 Merlin, Sea King and Apache helicopter fleets. The contract is output-based, whereby AgustaWestland is incentivised to improve the levels of operational output whilst seeking continuous improvement to reduce through life costs.
Ray Edwards, Managing Director, AgustaWestland Ltd said "Encompassing not just availability based support services but also aircrew, maintainer and ground crew training, the WIST contract provides a complete through life support and training package that will deliver cost savings and increased aircraft availability.” "The AW159 Wildcat’s equipment fit and performance will also provide an increased level of helicopter capability for both the British Army and Royal Navy. AgustaWestland and our industry partners are committed to delivering the best possible support and training solutions."
AgustaWestland and its suppliers are now delivering a complete spares provisioning service, enhanced technical support services including aircraft safety management and full systems integration rig support and delivering synthetic and ground based training for both aircrew and maintainers. The contract will sustain over 300 industry jobs mainly in the South West of England at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, where the joint AgustaWestland/MOD WIST project office, Wildcat Training Centre and front line squadrons will be located and at the AgustaWestland Yeovil factory.
The state-of-the-art Wildcat Training Centre, which is under construction at RNAS Yeovilton, will be at the centre of the training service to be delivered under the WIST contract. It will be fully equipped and networked to provide aircrew and maintainer training using a wide range of Synthetic Training Equipment. Aircrew Training Equipment will include two Full Mission Simulators, a Flight Training Device and a Cockpit Procedures Trainer.
AgustaWestland under the WIST contract will be responsible for delivering over sixty different training courses for ab-initio Army aircrew, ground crew and maintainers starting in July 2013, as well as for Royal Navy ab-initio aircrew and maintainers starting in January 2014. The Wildcat Training Centre will also provide the capability for both Army and Naval front line Wildcat crews to maintain their annual flying and operational currency as well as continuation training requirements. Included in the WIST contract are regular price and value for money reviews to ensure performance targets are being met. The contract represents another stage in the helicopter plans set out in the MOD-AgustaWestland Strategic Partnering Arrangement and strengthens the relationship between industry and the MOD.
AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that Caverton Helicopters of Nigeria has been appointed an AgustaWestland Authorized Service Centre for the AW139 intermediate twin helicopter in Nigeria. Caverton’s Service Centre based in West Africa’s commercial hub, Lagos, will provide maintenance and repair services and an extensive a spare parts inventory for the type, offering an even greater level of service to AW139 operators across the region.
Caverton is currently operating six AW139s performing offshore transport missions in support of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and is planning to purchase additional AW139 helicopters for offshore and VIP transport operations. These orders for AW139s by Caverton have boosted the presence of AgustaWestland in Nigeria to approximately 23 helicopters of varying types being used in both commercial and government applications. Designating Caverton Helicopters as an Authorized Service Centre for the AW139 in Nigeria is the latest step in AgustaWestland’s programme to enhance its global customer support services This strategic choice brings the number of AgustaWestland Service Centres worldwide to over eighty, with a programme underway to continually expand this network of Service Centres.
Executive Vice Chairman of Caverton Helicopters, Adeniyi Makanjuola said “We welcome the opportunity to have been appointed as an Authorized Service Centre, and we are confident that the breadth and depth of our service portfolio and local expertise will meet the regions’ needs, as the market expands. This designation, further cements our position as a wholly indigenous operator in the region working to global standards of industrial airworthiness and reliability.” Headquartered in Lagos, Caverton Helicopters is the first wholly indigenous civil helicopter company to work in the oil and gas industry. Operating from facilities around the country Caverton Helicopters provides a range of services including transportation, maintenance, search and rescue and related services to offshore oil companies and other business sectors.
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