Finmeccanica: AgustaWestland signs contracts worth EUR 435 million in UK and Azerbaijan

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, has signed contracts with a total value of about EUR 435 million in the UK and Azerbaijan.

In particular, AgustaWestland has signed a three year contract (from March 2013 to April 2016) with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, valued at approximately GBP 260 million (about EUR 320 million), for the provision of Sea King Integrated Operational Support (SKIOS) for the UK MoD's fleet of Sea King helicopters operated by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. This contract follows on previous contracts signed with the UK MoD to cover the period between 2005 and March 2013.

Furthermore, AgustaWestland has signed a contract valued at approximately EUR 115 million with Azerbaijan Airlines to supply ten helicopters (eight AW139s and two AW189s). These helicopters will be used to perform a range of mission including offshore transport, emergency medical service, search and rescue and VIP transport. This important order marks the entrance of AgustaWestland into Azerbaijan’s promising helicopter market. The contract also adds another leading operator to the list of customers which have selected models from the AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters, comprising the AW139, AW169 and AW189. Azerbaijan Airlines will benefit from the latest technology and safety standards, as well as the common approach to maintenance and training adopted for the AW139 and AW189 which will maximise effectiveness and significantly reduce overall operating costs.

Bruno Spagnolini, Chief Executive Officer of AgustaWestland declared: “The Sea King contract demonstrates AgustaWestland’s commitment to the UK MoD to drive up aircraft availability whilst reducing through life costs. Furthermore, we are proud that Azerbaijan Airlines has chosen our products to meet its future rotorcraft requirements. The selection of the AW139 and AW189 to cover such a wide range of missions testifies the competitiveness and superiority of our helicopters as to the international competition. With this success in Azerbaijan we believe we can secure further opportunities across the region”.

The SKIOS contract which commenced in 2005 introduced a payment by the flying hour arrangement, the first integrated support contract awarded by the UK MoD for a helicopter type. The UK MoD's fleet of Sea King helicopters totals almost 90 aircraft. The SKIOS contract will directly sustain almost 500 jobs around the UK with AgustaWestland and its sub contractors.

The AW139 is the multirole helicopter of choice and the best selling model in its category with orders for nearly 670 units in almost 60 countries from more than 180 customers worldwide to perform several missions. Launched in June 2011 and set to achieve certification in the second half of 2013, the all new AW189 twin engine helicopter, optimized for several long range roles, has quickly achieved a significant market success with orders for over 60 units.

Rome 20/12/2012