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4 septembre 2013 3 04 /09 /septembre /2013 18:50
AgustaWestland touts AW609 enhancements

ROME, Sept. 4 (UPI)


Aerodynamic improvements to AgustaWestland's prototype AW609 tilt-rotor VTOL aircraft are underway in Italy and the United States.


Among improvements to the vertical takeoff and landing fixed-wing plane – the company's answer to Bell Boeings V-22 Osprey – are a modified vertical fin, better designed engine exhaust nozzles and changes to the prop-rotor spinner cones, the Italian-British company said.


The improvements are designed to help reduce drag by about 10 percent, cut aircraft weight and improve efficiency.


"These aerodynamic improvements, new avionics, new cockpit display system and a large number of other improvements will together give the aircraft greater performance and mission capabilities, making it even more attractive for carrying out a wide range of missions which can benefit from its much higher cruise speed, high altitude cruise capability and longer range, when compared to existing helicopters or other proposed high-speed rotorcraft," said Clive Scott, AW609 Program manager.


Flight testing of the aircraft's modified vertical tail fin is being conducted on prototype 2 at the company's facility at Cascina Costa, Italy. Other enhancements are being tested in Texas on prototype 1 by AgustaWestland's U.S. subsidiary, AgustaWestland Tilt-Rotor Company.


AgusaWestland said an upgraded version of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engine is being used on the aircraft. Its integrated cockpit is being supplied by Rockwell Collins, while BAE Systems is providing an upgraded flight control computer.


Two additional AW609 two prototypes are under final assembly in Italy.

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3 septembre 2013 2 03 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
Danish AW101s to get MX-15 sensor fit

Sep. 2, 2013 –by Craig Hoyle – FG


London - Denmark is to perform an equipment upgrade on some of its air force AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters, with the aircraft to be fitted with L-3 Wescam's MX-15 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor.


Announced by the supplier on 2 September, Copenhagen's acquisition and sustainment contract will provide "a minimum of eight MX-15 imaging systems". Deliveries should conclude by 2014, it adds, with the new sensors to be installed by Denmark's Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation. Certification activities will be managed by AgustaWestland.


"The newly equipped AW101s will then be deployed to the Royal Danish Air Force's 722 Sqn in tactical troop transport operations, training exercises within Denmark and possible future use in mission theatres globally," L-3 Wescam says.


The Royal Danish Air Force operates 14 AW101s, which Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database records as having been built between 2005 and 2009. Part of the service's fleet is tasked with providing search and rescue cover from its Karup air base, with these aircraft having been delivered with FLIR Systems Star Safire II EO/IR sensors.

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10 juillet 2013 3 10 /07 /juillet /2013 18:50
EC225 - photo Anthony PECCHI(/h5)

EC225 - photo Anthony PECCHI(/h5)

10.07.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com


Le ministère norvégien de la Justice et de la sécurité publique a annoncé le 9 juillet avoir sélectionné AgustaWestland et Eurocopter pour engager des négociations avancées dans le cadre de son appel d’offres concernant les hélicoptères de recherche et de sauvetage.


Eurocopter, qui présente son EC225, et AgustaWestland, qui propose son AW101, vont donc entrer dans une phase de négociations plus poussées avec le ministère, la décision finale étant attendue pour la fin de l’année 2013.


AW101 - AgustaWestland

AW101 - AgustaWestland

Il s’agit pour la Norvège de remplacer sa flotte de Sea King à l’horizon 2020 par 16 nouveaux hélicoptères, avec une option pour six exemplaires supplémentaires. Le processus de sélection avait débuté en octobre 2011. Sikorsky (H-92) et NHIndustries (NH90) étaient les deux autres compétiteurs dans cet appel d'offres.

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26 juin 2013 3 26 /06 /juin /2013 15:20
1st Italian Army ICH-47F Chinook Performs Its Maiden Flight

Jun 26, 2013 ASDNews Source : AgustaWestland


AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the first ICH-47F Chinook for the Italian Army successfully accomplished its maiden flight on June 24th at Vergiate in Italy. The aircraft took to the air for 15 minutes, performing as expected carrying out basic handling tests and main systems checks.


This ICH-47F Chinook is the first of an order for 16 units plus four options placed by the Italian MoD Procurement Agency (ARMAEREO). The contract also includes a five year logistic support service. The delivery of the first aircraft is planned in early 2014 with final deliveries in 2017. The ICH-47Fs will be operated by the Italian Army Aviation 1st Regiment "Antares" based in Viterbo and they will replace the 40 CH-47C Chinooks that have been in service since 1973.


Under a Joint Industrial Agreement with Boeing, AgustaWestland is prime contractor for the Italian ICH-47F programme, with responsibility for systems integration, final assembly and aircraft delivery to the Italian Army. In addition AgustaWestland is also being qualified by Boeing to produce the entire drive systems. Boeing Rotorcraft Systems builds the fuselage at its Ridley Park, PA, facility in the United States of America whilst final assembly is carried out at AgustaWestland's Vergiate plant in Northern Italy.


Alessandro Parrini, Senior Vice President Italian Government Business Unit, AgustaWestland said: “This is an exciting moment for us and our customer. The Italian Army will soon fly the latest variant of the proven heavy lift platform that will give it new capabilities. This maiden flight confirms that the strategic partnership between the Company and the Service is providing a significant contribution to the modernisation of the Italian Army helicopter fleet.”


The ICH-47F customised version incorporates a secure communications system, self-protection system and advanced datalink system. This new ICH-47F Chinook variant has a Maximum All Up Weight (MAUW) of 23 tons, is equipped with two Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines giving it excellent “hot and high” capability and is suitable for all weather operations.


The primary tactical mission of the ICH-47F aircraft is to provide air transportation for equipment and troops. Cargo can be carried internally and externally using the aircraft's cargo hook system. The helicopter's payload, long range and high cruise speed make it a unique asset to meet the Italian Army's needs and can additionally perform special support functions, disaster relief and firefighting roles.


The Joint Industrial Agreement between AgustaWestland and Boeing also includes a licensing arrangement that enables AgustaWestland to market, sell and produce these “Chinooks” for other countries.

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24 juin 2013 1 24 /06 /juin /2013 16:45
AW109 - photo AgustaWestland

AW109 - photo AgustaWestland

24 June 2013 by defenceWeb


The Mauritanian Air Force has ordered two AW109 helicopters and the Senegalese Air Force a single AW139 from AgustaWestland, the company has announced.


The contract with Mauritania was signed on June 17 at the Paris Air Show during a ceremony attended by Colonel Hereitani of the Mauritanian Air Force and Geoff Hoon, AgustaWestland’s Managing Director of International Business.


AgustaWestland said the twin-engined AW109 Power helicopters would be used for border patrol and reconnaissance missions, and would be delivered in mid-2014 in a multi-role homeland security configuration.


The contract also includes a comprehensive training and support package that will be delivered both in Italy and on-site to ensure a quick and effective entry into operational service for the aircraft, AgustaWestland added.


Mauritania’s Air Force only flies two other helicopters – Chinese Harbin Z-9As delivered in 2003, according to the Jane’s Information Group.


The Mauritanian Air Force has been growing in recent times, especially in response to Islamic terrorist organisations operating in the region. Four Embraer EMB-312F Tucanos were received from France in 2010 and 2011, while the nation began taking delivery of new Super Tucanos in October 2012.

AW139M - photo AgustaWestland

AW139M - photo AgustaWestland

Also at the Paris Air Show, AgustaWestland announced that it had signed a contract for a single AW139 medium helicopter, which will be operated by the Senegal Air Force. It will most likely be used for VIP transport.


The contract marks the entrance of AgustaWestland helicopters in the regional market, the company said, and includes in-country support services and training for both aircrew and maintainers.


Senegal is also expanding its air force, with the country recently ordering three A-29 Super Tucanos from Embraer. The contract was signed on April 10 this year.


The AW109 Power variant, which can be flown by a single pilot, features a digital glass cockpit with six liquid crystal instrument displays providing the aircrew with flight, systems and mission data. It can cruise at a maximum speed of 285 km/h. Nearly 480 AW109s are in service in around 50 countries, with almost one third of these being operated by government customers.


The AW109’s larger sibling, the AW139, can cruise at 306 km/h over nearly a thousand kilometres. Around 720 have been sold in almost 60 countries to over 200 customers for many roles including VIP/corporate transport, passenger transport, law enforcement, fire fighting, offshore transport, search and rescue, emergency medical services, disaster relief and maritime patrol.

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 15:50
Italian Army's first FOC configuration helicopter stationed at AugustaWestland's facility in Venice Tessera, Italy. Photo AgustaWestland - A Finmeccanica Company.

Italian Army's first FOC configuration helicopter stationed at AugustaWestland's facility in Venice Tessera, Italy. Photo AgustaWestland - A Finmeccanica Company.



7 May 2013 army-technology.com


The Italian Army has taken delivery of the first final operational capability (FOC) configuration NH90 tactical transport helicopter (TTH) during an official ceremony at AgustaWestland's NH90 final assembly line in Venice Tessera, Italy.


Representing a significant milestone for the Italian Army's NH90 programme, the shipment brings the total number of helicopters received by the service to date to 21.


Around 60 NH90 TTHs were ordered by the Italian Defence Ministry for the army, along with 46 Nato frigate helicopter (NFH), as well as ten TTH for the Navy from NH Industries in June 2000.


Currently deployed in Afghanistan, five Italian NH90s have successfully completed 470 flight hours with enhanced performance, reliability and mission effectiveness in the country's extreme and demanding environmental, weather and operational conditions.


Powered by two Rolls-Royce-Turbomeca RTM322 engines, the NH90 TTH is a multi-role military helicopter primarily designed to conduct logistics and utility transport, combat search-and-rescue (RESCO), as well as heliborne operations during day and night.


The 11t-class, fully composite crashworthy fuselage equipped helicopter can also be configured for casualty and medical evacuation, electronic warfare, special operations and counter-terrorism operations, airborne command post and VIP transportation missions.


Additional features include a dual bus core avionic system, full glass cockpit with multi-function displays, fly-by-wire controls with a four-axis automatic flight control system, as well as up to two M134D mini guns for enhanced self-defence capabilities.


The helicopters have also been ordered by other NH90 members, including Australia, Belgium, Greece, Norway, New-Zealand, Oman, Sweden, Spain, Finland, France, Portugal, and the Netherlands.


AgustaWestland is also providing an integrated operational support package to help the Italian army maximise operational effectiveness of its NH90 fleet, as part of a phased logistic support (PLS) programme from the Venice Tessera facility.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 17:25
Brazil's Embraer, AgustaWestland drop helicopter plans

Apr. 24, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)


SAO PAULO — Top Brazilian plane maker Embraer and Italy’s AgustaWestland have dropped joint-venture talks to produce the Anglo-Italian company’s helicopters in the South American country.


A brief Embraer statement on Wednesday said the two companies jointly decided “to terminate negotiations without reaching an agreement for the establishment of a joint venture in Brazil.”


It gave no explanation for why the talks collapsed.


Last January, Embraer said it signed a memorandum of understanding with AgustaWestland, a unit of Italy’s Finmeccanica, to create a joint venture “which could lead to the production of AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil to be marketed for both commercial and military use in Brazil and Latin America.”


The companies then said preliminary studies had shown strong market potential for helicopters to serve Brazil’s growing offshore oil and gas sector, as well as for executive transport and military craft.


Embraer is the world’s third largest commercial aircraft maker while AgustaWestland is a leader in a number of helicopter markets

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14 février 2013 4 14 /02 /février /2013 13:35



February 14, 2013 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist


This is an unedited statement by the MoD on the acquisition of VVIP helicopters for the IAF, currently suspended after the arrest of Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi.


The Facts: In August 1999, the IAF which is responsible for carrying out VVIP communication task, proposed the replacement of Mi-8 VIP helicopters due to severe operational constraints, such as, inability of Mi-8 to operate at night and in adverse weather, inability to operate safely at places in elevation beyond 2000 meters etc. IAF felt the need for the replacement of Mi-8 helicopters as they were completing their total technical life.


2.           A global RFP was issued in March 2002 to which 4 vendors responded. The Technical Evaluation Committee shortlisted 3 helicopters and accordingly flight evaluations were conducted.  Since, EH-101 of M/s. AgustaWestland was not certified for an altitude of 6000 meters, it did not participate in the flight evaluation. The Russian helicopter Mi-172 could not comply with 7 mandatory Operational Requirements (ORs).  After flight evaluation, EC-225 of M/s. Eurocopter, France was found suitable for acquisition.


3.           On November 19, 2003 a meeting was taken by Principal Secretary to PM on this subject.  In the meeting, Principal Secretary observed that his main concern was that the framing of the mandatory requirements has led us effectively into a single vendor situation.  It was also noted that PM and President have rarely made visits to places involving flying at an altitude beyond 4500 meters.  In the meeting it was decided to make the mandatory requirement for operational altitude 4500 meters.  The higher flying ceiling of 6000 meters, and a cabinet height of 1.8 meters could be made desirable operational requirements.  It was observed that with these revisions, several helicopters which otherwise met all requirements but had been rejected due to the altitude restriction, would now come into the reckoning.


4.           The meeting was followed by a letter dated 22nd December, 2003 from the Principal Secretary to PM to the Air Chief, stating that it was unfortunate that neither PMO nor SPG was consulted while framing these mandatory requirements.  He suggested that CAS and Defence Secretary may jointly review the matter to draw up realistic mandatory requirements satisfying operational, security and convenience requirements of VVIPs and also set in motion a fast track process for selection and acquisition of the replacement helicopters.


5.           In pursuance of the above directive, the ORs were deliberated at length between IAF, NSA, SPG/PMO and MoD between March, 2005 to September, 2006 and the above indicated changes were incorporated.


6.           The required numbers of helicopters for the entourage of VVIP was further deliberated between Air HQ, MoD and SPG/PMO. The quantity of helicopters proposed for procurement was revised from 8 to 12 helicopters by adding 4 helicopters in non-VIP configuration for security reasons.


7.           The AON for the procurement of 12 helicopters was accorded by the Defence Acquisition Council under ‘Buy’ category with 30 percent offsets on 3rd January, 2006.  RFP was issued to 6 vendors on 27th September, 2006.


8.           Three vendors, namely M/s Sikorsky, USA (S-92 helicopter), M/s AgustaWestland, UK (EH-101 helicopter) and M/s. Rosoboronexport, Russia (Mi-172 helicopter) responded to the RFP.


9.           M/s. Rosoboronexport did not submit earnest money deposit and the Integrity Pact, along with their Technical and Commercial proposals. It had been made clear to M/s Rosoboronexport in February 2007 that this was a global tender and hence every contractual clause would be the same for all vendors.  As no Integrity Pact and Earnest Money Deposit were received from M/s Rosoboronexport, their Techno-Commercial offer was not accepted.


10.       The Technical Evaluation Committee evaluated the technical proposals of M/s Sikorsky and M/s AgustaWestland and recommended field evaluation trials of their helicopters.


11.       The Field Evaluation Trial of M/s AgustaWestland was carried out in UK and trials of M/s Sikorsky were carried out in USA from 16 January 2008 to February 2008.  The Field Evaluation Trial team submitted its report in April 2008 and recommended AW-101 helicopter of M/s AgustaWestland for induction into Service.  SPG was also part of the Field Evaluation Trial team.


12.       The Staff Evaluation Report of Air HQ concluded that the S-92 helicopter was non-compliant with respect to four SQRs for the VVIP helicopter (Missile Approach Warning System, Service Ceiling of 4.5 km, Drift Down Altitude and Hover Out of Ground Effect).  The Staff Evaluation Report assessed the VVIP helicopter AW-101 to be fully compliant with all SQRs.


13.       Technical Oversight Committee constituted on 6 August 2008 found that the field evaluation trials, compliance to SQRs and selection of vendors were done according to the prescribed procedures.


14.       Contract Negotiation Committee (CNC) was constituted and it carried out its discussions with the vendor between 19 September 2008 and 21 January, 2009.  While the CNC was progressing its discussions, Air HQ, recommended inclusion of Traffic Collusion Avoidance System (TCAS-II) and Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) for all 12 helicopters and SPG/PMO recommended inclusion of Medevac System for 8 VVIP helicopters.  These additional equipment were considered to be essential for safe and effective operation of the helicopter in VVIP transportation role.  SPG also agreed to these requirements.  The CNC, thereafter, recommended conclusion of the contract at a negotiated price of EURO 556.262 million. 


15.       On completion of CNC the proposal was submitted for approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).  The CCS considered the proposal in its meeting held on 18 January 2010 and approved the proposal.


16.       In pursuance of the decision of the CCS the Ministry of Defence concluded a contract for the supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopter with M/s AgustaWestland, UK on 08 February, 2010.


17.       The procurement case was, thus, progressed in accordance with the established procurement procedure in a transparent manner with all stages of procurement being followed meticulously.   Security aspects as required by SPG/PMO and IAF were fully taken into consideration.  The role of PMO which began in 2003 was to ensure that security, communication and other requirements of VVIP security were taken care of and the helicopter for VVIP use is selected on the basis of broad based QRs.


18.       Contract signed with M/s. AgustaWestland includes specific contractual provisions against bribery and the use of undue influence.  Article 22 of the contract deals with penalty for use of undue influence.  This clause entitles the ‘Buyer’ to cancel the contract with the ‘Seller’ and recover from him the amount of any loss arising from such cancellation.  Article 23 of the contract dealing with agents and agency commission requires the ‘Seller’ to confirm and declare that he has not engaged any individual or firm, whether Indian or foreign, whosoever, to intercede, facilitate or in any way to recommend to the Government of India or any of its functionaries, whether officially or unofficially, to award of the contract to the ‘Seller’ nor has any amount been paid, promised or intended to be paid to any such individual or firm in respect of any such intercession, facilitation or recommendation.  This clause further entitles the ‘Buyer’ to consider cancellation of the contract without any entitlement or compensation to the ‘Seller’ who shall be liable to refund all payments made by the ‘Buyer’ in terms of the contract along with interest.


19.       In addition to the above contractual provisions, M/s. Agusta Westland has signed an Integrity Pact with the Government.  The validity of this Integrity Pact is from the date of its signing and extends up to five years or the complete execution of the contract whichever is later.  Under the Integrity Pact, the bidder commits himself to take all measures necessary to prevent corrupt practices, unfair means and illegal activities during any stage of the bid or during any pre-contract or post-contract stage.  Any breach of the provisions of the Integrity Pact entitles the ‘Buyer’ to take actions against the ‘Seller’ which includes forfeiture of the earnest money, performance bond, cancellation of the contract without giving any compensation, to recover all the sums already paid with interest, to cancel any other contracts with the bidder and to debar the bidder from entering into any bid from the Government for a minimum period of five years which may be extended, etc.


20.       As regards, the allegations of unethical dealings in helicopter procurement case including involvement of middleman and payment of bribes etc., the first report in the media appeared in February 2012.


21.       Immediately (the next day after the news item appeared in the papers) DG(Acq) in MoD sought a factual report in the matter from our Embassy in Rome.


22.       MoD also noted the report in the ‘Hindu’ of 28.2.2012 that, quoting Finmeccanica, states that its subsidiary AgustaWestland is not involved in “any irregularity in the deal”.


23.       Subsequently, MoD received more than one communication from M/s AgustaWestland confirming that the statements in the press are “completely    unfounded and have been issued with malicious intent” and that “no commissions whatsoever were paid” in the case.


24.       In April 2012, MoD wrote again to our Embassy in Rome seeking an update.


25.       A detailed report on the status of the case was received from our Embassy in Rome in May 2012.  The report made it clear that there are inherent difficulties in obtaining formal details of the case given the independence of the judiciary from the executive in Italy.


26.       MoD in July 2012 wrote to our embassy in Rome stating that it could approach the concerned judicial authorities directly.  A formal request was indeed made by the embassy to the Naples prosecutors office on July 16, 2012.


27.       Since factual information was difficult to arrive at, Defence Secretary wrote to Secretary (West), MEA, in October 2012 reiterating the importance of the need to get information from the Italian authorities so that MoD could take further necessary action in this regard.


28.       MEA’s response again was that the matter had been taken up with the Italian side and the position conveyed for the need for ‘reliable information’, for “news reports alone could not be the basis for the Ministry of Defence to make any preliminary determination”.


29.       In October 2012 Defence Secretary also wrote to Secretary (West) to take up the matter with the Government of U.K.  in view of the alleged involvement of a British citizen and the fact that the contract was signed with M/s AgustaWestland, U.K.


30.       In November 2012, Secretary (West), MEA, replied to Defence Secretary stating that ‘the U.K. authorities were waiting for the results of the Italian investigation in order to ascertain whether there are further actions to take’.


31.       Earlier, in connection with the letter received from one

Mr. Edmund Allen of Ganton Limited, USA, MoD had written on 19.4.12 to CBI and Enforcement Directorate for necessary action, as Abhishek Verma and others were also being named in various media reports in connection with several defence deals.  Later, Enforcement Directorate informed MoD in July 2012 that they were enquiring into the allegations.


32.       In November 2012, a letter was received in MoD from the Director, Income Tax (Investigations) regarding allegations against Indians possibly involved in the deal as middlemen and seeking information about them.  The current status of the case was conveyed to the income tax authorities in January 2013; in return, MoD asked Income Tax to share with it any ‘credible information’.


33.       Throughout the process of this case, MoD has been prompt to take action on newspaper reports, and to seek factual information from the concerned authorities.  Since foreign governments are involved, MoD has consistently pursued the matter though MEA.


34.       As soon as information was available of one concrete step having been taken by the concerned foreign investigative authorities, namely, the arrest of Mr. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, Finmeccanica on Feb 12, 2013. MoD handed over the case to CBI for investigation and put on hold all further payments to Agusta Westland.  Besides this, the Indian Embassy has been requested to provide the factual position and any other relevant information.  The CEO of M/s AgustaWestland has also been asked to categorically state the clear position in view of the current developments indicating specifically if any financial transaction has taken place with any Indian individual / entity which would be violative of the Integrity Pact or any other terms and conditions of the contract.


35.       As already mentioned above, both the contract and integrity pact signed with M/s AgustaWestland, U.K., contain specific provisions by which strict action including cancellation of contract, recovery of payment, blacklisting and penal action can be taken against the vendors.  Government is determined to take all possible legal and administrative action against the guilty parties and accordingly has ordered a thorough probe by CBI.

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