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Russian Helicopters, AugustaWestland sign 20 mln euro JV deal

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Rotorcraft makers Russian Helicopters and AugustaWestland have signed a 20 million euro joint venture deal at the Le Bourget air show in France for assembly of AW139 helicopters in Russia, the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

Rotorcraft makers Russian Helicopters and AugustaWestland have signed a 20 million euro joint venture deal at the Le Bourget air show in France for assembly of AW139 helicopters in Russia, the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

"Russian Helicopters, part of United Industrial Corporation Oboronprom, and AgustaWestland, part of Finmeccanica Group, have announced signing final agreements on establishing HeliVert joint venture on an equal footing," the statement said.

HeliVert will build and operate a plant for assembly of AW139 medium twin engine civil helicopters in Russia, the companies said in a joint statement. When production starts in the fourth quarter of 2011, it will be the first time a western helicopter has been made under license in Russia.

The 40,000 square meter plant will be located in the Tomilino industrial zone outside Moscow.

"The plant's planned annual output amounts to 15 AW139 helicopters. The plant will employ more than 100 people when the it reaches its maximum output," the companies said.

The AW139 is a 15-seat medium twin-engine helicopter with 6,400 kilogram takeoff weight. The AW139 is used for corporate and VIP conveyance, offshore conveyance, search and rescue and for fire-fighting.

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