Russian aerospace conglomerate Oboronprom has started “large-scale, long-term” cooperation with European manufacturer Agusta- Westland for helicopter distribution, maintenance and production.
The cooperation was outlined in a letter of intent in the summer of 2007. In May the two companies and Loyd’s Investments, a Russia-based firm that specializes in marketing and sales of aviation products in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union area, signed a distribution agreement for 10 AgustaWestland helicopters. The resulting firm order, worth ?65 million ($100 million), is for two AW119 Kes, two AW109 Powers, four Grands and two AW139s.
The agreement foresees a total of ?450 million ($700 million) in orders by 2012.
The second stage of the cooperation will be the joint establishment of maintenance centers for Agusta-Westland helicopters in Russia. The third stage will be the joint production of AgustaWestland helicopters in the western region of Russia. Oboronprom will market these helicopters in Russia and the CIS area; its Anglo-Italian partner will take care of the rest of the world.
According to an AgustaWestland spokesman, the models to be manufactured in Russia will be selected “by the Farnborough airshow,” this month. He hinted at the AW139 being on the list, as he is confident the agreement will open the Russian market to the medium twin.
AgustaWestland salespeople hope to place a number of AW139s in executive transport, offshore oil platform support and emergency medical services applications.