AgustaWestland has penned a contract with investment group Oboronprom, which will give the manufacturer a vital foothold in the Russian helicopter market.

Under the agreement, AgustaWestland helicopters will be marketed in Russia and other CIS countries for a range of missions, including corporate and VIP transport. The contract will also see a number of maintenance centres for AgustaWestland aircraft established in Russia.

In the longer term, the partnership could expand into a joint production agreement with the creation of a manufacturing site in Russia. Oboronprom will also acquire AgustaWestland helicopters worth $700 million through to 2012. The commitment for 2008 includes 10 helicopters to the total value of $100m: two AW119 Ke; two AW109 Power; four Grand light twins and two AW139s.

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Source: Flight Daily News