AgustaWestland Breaks Ground On Russian Plant

 - June 24, 2010, 12:12 PM

On Tuesday, AgustaWestland broke ground on a new Russian production plant at Tomilinom, near Moscow. The 120,000-sq-ft building will house another final assembly line for the AW139 medium twin helicopter that will be operated by HeliVert, a 50-50 joint venture between AgustaWestland and state-owned Russian Helicopters. The AW139 is currently manufactured in Italy, as well as in the U.S. at Agusta’s Philadelphia plant. The new Russian plant will employ 100 people and is scheduled to begin producing helicopters next year. It will ramp up to an annual production rate of more than 20 helicopters by 2015. Helicopters produced at the plant will be delivered to civil customers primarily in Russia and CIS countries. Russian authorities view the plant as the latest step in developing improved cooperation with AW’s parent, industrial and defense conglomerate Finmeccanica.  Sergey Chemezov, director general of Russian Technologies, called the plant an “important event” for “Russian mechanical engineering as a whole.”