(NSI News Source Info) February 13, 2009: AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and Tata Sons are pleased to announce the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the formation of an Indian joint venture company which will establish a final assembly line for the AW119 helicopter in India. The agreement was signed at the Aero India air show today by Mr. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, AgustaWestland and Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons. The agreement was signed at the Aero India air show today by Mr. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, AgustaWestland and Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons. The joint venture company will be responsible for AW119 final assembly, completion and delivery to customers worldwide while AgustaWestland will retain responsibility for worldwide marketing and sales.
The joint venture company will be responsible for AW119 final assembly, completion and delivery to customers worldwide while AgustaWestland will retain responsibility for worldwide marketing and sales. The first aircraft is scheduled to be delivered from the new facility in 2011 with production forecast to rise to 30 aircraft per year to meet worldwide demand.
Mr. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, AgustaWestland speaking after the signing ceremony said "We are proud to have achieved this important agreement with such an important and strong industrial partner in India. Establishing an AW119 final assembly line in India will allow us to meet the growing demand in the world market for a modern single engine helicopter and to further expand our presence in India where we see strong future business opportunities."The AgustaWestland AW119 Koala (Agusta A119 Koala prior to the Agusta-Westland merger) is an eight-seat utility helicopter powered by a single turboshaft engine and produced for the civil market. It is intended to appeal to operators for whom the lower running costs of a single-engine aircraft outweigh the redundancy of a twin.
He added, "AgustaWestland is also committed to offering the best and most cost effective solution for the Indian Armed Forces' Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter requirement. We will also work together with other partners in India to best serve the needs of the Indian market."
It is envisaged that the joint venture company would be a supplier for the current Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter (RSH) programme of the Indian Armed Forces, for which AgustaWestland has already proposed the AW119 to be manufactured in India. Additionally, AgustaWestland and Tata companies plan to explore additional commercial opportunities in India for AgustaWestland helicopters and the subsequent industrial co-operation.
Tata is a rapidly growing business group based in India with significant international operations. Revenues in 2007-08 are estimated at $62.5 billion (around Rs251,543 crore), of which 61 per cent is from business outside India. The group employs around 350,000 people worldwide. The Tata name has been respected in India for 140 years for its adherence to strong values and business ethics. The business operations of the Tata group currently encompass seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals.