AgustaWestland signs BAIC deal for up to 50 rotorcraft
Beijing Automotive Industrial Corporation (BAIC) of China has signed a multi-year contract for the purchase of 50 AgustaWestland helicopters of various models, including AW139, AW169 and AW189. Deliveries are scheduled to start in mid-2015 and continue through to 2019. The contract, that includes training, spare parts and technical support is valued around €400 million, excluding customer selected options and mission equipment. The contract was signed today in Rome by BGAC Chairman Xu Heyi and Finmeccanica CEO and MD Mauro Moretti in the presence of China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
The contract follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the companies in June this year and lays the foundation of a strategic partnership to serve the development of the growing Chinese para-public helicopter market. This will include a range of applications such as law enforcement, rescue, emergency medical service, firefighting and disaster relief. The partnership will evolve further with plans to provide local support, training and aircraft customization services.
More than 60 AgustaWestland helicopters had been sold to Chinese customers prior to this latest contract to satisfy a range of mission requirements, including law enforcement, rescue, disaster relief, firefighting, public utility, patrol, environmental monitoring, harbour pilot shuttle, VIP and passenger transport duties. With this contract, in the last 12 months AgustaWestland has signed orders in the Country for over 70 helicopters of various types, confirming its successful position in this important growth market.
The contract includes various types of helicopters, ranging from the single engine AW119Kx to the AW189 super medium helicopter. All products share the same commitment to quality, innovation and effectiveness. The order is also another endorsement of AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters. The AW139, AW169 and AW189 possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features as well as sharing a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concept.
BAIC is a the fourth largest state owned automotive company in China., and is entering the aviation business through its subsidiary Beijing General Aviation Co. Ltd. (BGAC). BAIC has achieved revenues of US$43.3 billion last year and was ranked 248 in the latest list of Fortune 500 companies.