Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland Start Building Joint Civil AW139 Final Assembly Line Plant

The final assembly line is being built for a projected capacity in excess of 20 helicopters per year, with production expected to progressively increase.

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.”

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