AgustaWestland and India’s Tata Sons have struck a joint venture to set up an AW119 final assembly line in India. The deal was formalized at the Aero India air show on February 12, 2009, when AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi and Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Under the deal, the joint venture company will handle AW119 final assembly, completion and delivery to customers globally, while AgustaWestland will continue to handle worldwide marketing and sales. The AW119 is scheduled to be delivered from the new Indian plant in 2011. Planned production from this facility is 30 aircraft annually.
"Establishing an AW119 final assembly line in India will allow us to meet the growing demand in the world market for a modern single engine helicopter and to further expand our presence in India where we see strong future business opportunities," said Orsi. "AgustaWestland is also committed to offering the best and most cost- effective solution for the Indian Armed Forces’ Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter [RSH] requirement."
Besides targeting the Indian RSH market — a goal made more attainable by AgustaWestland manufacturing the AW119 domestically — the joint venture will be seeking commercial sales in India. Tata certainly has the clout AgustaWestland needs to tackle the growing Indian market. In business for 140 years, Tata’s 2007-08 revenues are estimated at $62.5 billion, with 61 percent coming from foreign sales. There is no word yet how the world economic downturn has affected Tata’s current revenues.