AgustaWestland Partners with Russian Firm on Light Helo

 - September 3, 2013, 3:35 PM

AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters signed an agreement last week at the MAKS airshow in Moscow for the joint design and development of a new light single-engine helicopter. The 50-50 joint program was first announced by the partners about a year ago.

The preliminary assessment of the 5,600-pound helicopter’s technical design is expected to be completed “in the next few months.” It is being designed for the worldwide market and a “wide range” of applications, the companies said.

“This agreement with Russian Helicopters expands our partnership, which started with the establishment of the joint venture HeliVert for the local assembly of the AW139,” said AgustaWestland CEO Daniele Romiti. “We are delighted to be progressing to the next stage of this program covering the design and development stages. The soon-to-be-completed technical and market assessment will allow us to define the basis for a modern, cost-effective [helicopter].”

Also at MAKS, AgustaWestland signed a service center agreement with Russian helicopter operator and maintenance provider UTair. Under the agreement, UTair will provide authorized service for AgustaWestland helicopters and will also carry an “extensive” spare parts inventory for AW139 twins.