22 June 2010 – 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, solemnly laying a time capsule in the base of the foundation at the industrial area in Tomilino, near Moscow, during an official ceremony held today and attended by representatives and dignitaries from the partners.
The final assembly line is being built on a total area of 40 thousand m2. The projected capacity is in excess of 20 helicopters per year, with production expected to progressively increase, from 5 units in 2011 to steady state regime in 2015.
The plant, aimed at satisfying 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 total headcount at maximum capacity will be over 100 people.
The ground-breaking milestone is the latest achievement in the framework of the staged strategic cooperation between UIC Oboronprom and AgustaWestland started in summer 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 in occasion of the Italy-Russia intergovernmental summit held at the Kremlin in Moscow and attended by 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 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 thinks that “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 on 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 the Italian partners. Russian helicopters will strengthen Russia’s commercial positions on 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 the Russian industry as the benchmark helicopter in its category to meet a variety of demanding requirements in the Russian and CIS civil markets.”
AW139 – a medium twin helicopter of 6400kg take-off weight, is capable to carry up to 15 passengers. It is used as a corporate-transport and VIP helicopter as well as for offshore, in emergency situations, for rescue and fire-fighting operations.
Finmeccanica plays a leading role in the global aerospace and defence industry, and participates in some of the sector’s biggest international programmes through its group companies and well-established alliances with European and US partners. A leader in the design and manufacture of helicopters, defence and security electronics, civil and military aircraft, aerostructures, satellites, space infrastructure, defence systems, transport and energy sectors Finmeccanica is Italy’s leading high-tech company.
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is a major force in commercial and military helicopter markets around the world and offers an unrivalled range of helicopters, training and support solutions to satisfy customer's mission requirements. AgustaWestland's main facilities are located in Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Russian Technologies State Corporation, created in November 2007, is designed to assist Russian organisations-developers and manufacturers of high technology industrial products in their development, production and exports, by providing support in domestic and foreign markets and attracting investments to different industries, to raise the level of Russian products, lower their cost and production time. UIC Oboronprom, RusSpetsStal, VSMPO-AVISMA, AVTOVAZ and other structures are a part of Russian Technologies.
UIC OBORONPROM, JSC is a multi-profile industrial and investment group established in 2002. Its main tasks include helicopter engineering (Russian Helicopters managing company), engine-building (United Engine Industry Corporation managing company), air defense systems and complex electronic systems (Defense Systems holding company), and other machine-building activities. The companies of the group reported revenues of over 130 billion roubles in 2009.
Russian Helicopters, JSC is an affiliated company of UIC Oboronprom. It is the managing body of the following helicopter industry enterprises: Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, Kamov, Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, Kazan Helicopters, Rostvertol, Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company, Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise, Vpered Moscow Machine-Building Plant, Stupino Machine Production Plant, Reductor-PM , Helicopter Service Company (VSK) and Novosibirsk Aircraft Repairing Plant.