The Indian air force has signed a €560 million ($770 million) contract for 12 AgustaWestland AW101 three-engined utility helicopters that will be used for government transport. The contract includes logistics support and aircrew and technician training.
"This significant order by the Indian air force to meet its government transport helicopter requirement confirms the correct vision and strategy of AgustaWestland in India," says company chief executive Giuseppe Orsi.
India's AW101s will be used for VIP and government transport duties
"Several years ago we identified India as one of the pillars of our expansion strategy, from both the market and the industrial points of view. Today we have a significant and growing presence in both the military and commercial markets. Additionally we now have strong industrial relations with [holding company] Tata Sons, with which we have established a joint venture, initially for the production of the AW119 Koala, but soon this will become a wider platform for our growth in the region."
In February the Anglo-Italian airframer and Tata signed a shareholders' agreement for the formation of an Indian joint venture company that will establish in India a final assembly line for the AW119. The single-engined aircraft is also the AgustaWestland contender for the Indian ministry of defence's reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter programme.
An AW119 demonstrator is participating in demonstrations to the Indian armed forces as part of the evaluation process.