Indian Rotorcraft, a joint venture company of Tata Sons and AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, will assemble, customise and flight-test new helicopters at a facility in Hyderabad for the global market.

The joint venture will initially start producing the 8-seat AW119Ke light helicopter, with production commencing from mid-2013.

Indian Rotorcraft has announced that the ground breaking ceremony was held at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, marking the start of construction of a new helicopter production facility.

The ceremony was performed in the presence of Mr Ratan N Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons, Mr. Bruno Spagnolini, CEO, AgustaWestland and other dignitaries.

In a statement, Mr Ratan Tata said: “The project is integral to our plans in the aerospace sector and we look forward to an enduring and successful partnership with AgustaWestland for fostering the growth of the Indian aerospace sector.”

Mr Bruno Spagnolini, CEO of AgustaWestland, said, “Our joint venture with Tata Sons will play an important role in the development of the Indian aerospace industry. Not only will this new facility be able to build helicopters for the Indian market but it will supply helicopters to AgustaWestland customers around the world.”

The facility is being built on a 10-acre site adjacent to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad, and include a 9,000 sq.m. building incorporating a main assembly building, flight hangar, office accommodation and outside several helicopter landing pads.

The facility will be capable of producing up to 30 helicopters per year and is designed to be further developed for other helicopter types, right up to the 16-ton AW101.

AgustaWestland has its operations in Italy, the UK, Poland and the US, with a global presence through its network of industrial partners.

(This article was published on March 15, 2012)
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