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AgustaWestland S.p.A.
S.A. (corporation)
Industry Helicopter
Predecessor Agusta
Westland Helicopters
Founded 2000
Defunct December 31, 2015 (absorbed by Finmeccanica, today Leonardo)
Headquarters Rome, Italy
Key people
Daniele Romiti (Chief Executive Officer)
Products Helicopters
Revenue 4,243 million (2012)[1]
€473 million (2012)[1]
Number of employees
12,500 (at 31 December 2015)[1]
Parent Finmeccanica, (today Leonardo - Finmeccanica) until 31 December 2015
Subsidiaries PZL-Świdnik

AgustaWestland S.p.A was a helicopter design and manufacturing company [2] and wholly owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica S.p.a., (today Leonardo).[3] It was formed in July 2000 as an Anglo-Italian[4] multinational company, when Finmeccanica and GKN merged their respective helicopter subsidiaries (Agusta and Westland Helicopters) to form AgustaWestland,[5] with each holding a 50% share. Finmeccanica acquired GKN's stake in AgustaWestland in 2004. From 1 January 2016, the activities of AgustaWestland were merged into Leonardo-Finmeccanica's Helicopter Sector.[citation needed]


The Italy-based Finmeccanica and the United Kingdom-based GKN first announced their intention to merge their respective helicopter subsidiaries, Agusta and Westland Helicopters, in March 1999.[6] Finmeccanica and GKN announced finalised terms for the merger in July 2000, which included a 50:50 ownership structure, and the payment of top-up fees to GKN to compensate for a disparity in profit levels between Agusta and Westland.[7][8]

In January 2002, AgustaWestland announced that it would be cutting a total of 950 jobs in the United Kingdom and closing its factory in Weston-super-Mare, which carried out customer support work, as activity was concentrated at its main site in Yeovil.[9]

On 26 May 2004, GKN confirmed that it had agreed to sell its share of AgustaWestland to Finmeccanica for £1.06 billion.[10][11] The sale was approved by the British government in October 2004.[12]

AgustaWestland opened offices in Philadelphia in 2005, and won a contract to build the new presidential helicopter Marine One over the U.S. manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft, but this program was canceled in 2009.[13] In November 2005 it was announced that AgustaWestland had agreed to acquire Bell Helicopter's 25 per cent interest in the AB139 medium twin helicopter program, and to increase its interest in the BA609 civil tiltrotor aircraft from 25 per cent to 40 per cent.[14]

Qinetiq AgustaWestland AW109E Power arrives for the 2014 Royal International Air Tattoo, England

In June 2008, AgustaWestland and the Russia-based helicopter manufacturer Russian Helicopters agreed to form a new joint venture company to assemble AW139 helicopters in Russia.[15] Construction of a $50 million helicopter assembly facility in the town of Tomilino near Moscow began in June 2010.[16][17]

In early 2010, AgustaWestland acquired PZL-Świdnik, a Polish helicopter manufacturer.[18]

In September 2012, AgustaWestland and Northrop Grumman announced the signing of a comprehensive teaming agreement under which the companies will jointly bid for contracts to build the U.S. Air Force Combat Rescue helicopter and U.S. Navy's new "Marine One" presidential helicopter.[19]

In March 2013, AgustaWestland announced its Project Zero hybrid tiltrotor/fan-in-wing technology demonstrator. The unmanned demonstrator made its first tethered flight in June 2011 at AgustaWestland’s Cascina Costa, Italy facility. According to the company, the aircraft “employs no hydraulics, doesn’t burn fossil fuel and generates zero emissions.”[20]


India signed a contract to purchase 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters in February 2010 for the Communication Squadron of Indian Air Force to carry the president, PM and other VVIPs. Controversy over the contract came to light on 12 February 2013 with the arrest of Giuseppe Orsi, the CEO of Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland's parent company by Italian authorities;[21] the following day Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony ordered a probe into the contract.[22]

In January 2014, India cancelled the US$630 million deal with AgustaWestland for purchasing 12 AW 101 helicopters meant for use by VVIPs. Following this event, in June 2014 India recovered the entire sum of Rs 1,818 crore which it had paid to the company.[23] The decision to annul the 2010 deal, being probed by the CBI for irregularities, came after a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister AK Antony in New Delhi. According to the Defence Ministry, the government cancelled the contract "on grounds of breach of the Pre-contract Integrity Pact and the agreement by AWIL (AgustaWestland International Ltd)". The contract was frozen in February 2013 after allegations surfaced that US$60 million had been paid as a bribe.[24]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Key information". AgustaWestland. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Philly factory to begin producing new chopper". 
  3. ^ "Finmeccanica meeting approves new name, 'Leonardo'". Ansa News. 
  4. ^ Profile on
  5. ^ "Finmeccanica: al via riassetto AgustaWestland (MF) -". 8 July 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Westland helicopter merger flies". BBC News. 18 March 1999. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Westland merger confirmed". BBC News. 26 July 2000. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "GKN wins 'top-up' merger payments". The Telegraph. 27 July 2000. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Westland closes factory". BBC News. 10 January 2002. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "GKN sells its stake in Westland". BBC News. 28 July 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "GKN sells AgustaWestland stake". The Guardian. 28 July 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  12. ^ "AgustaWestland sale to go ahead". BBC News. 6 October 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Gates outlines military spending overhaul". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "Bell to sell helicopter program stake to AgustaWestland". Flight Global. 22 November 2005. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "Russia, Italy to assemble AW139 helicopters in Moscow region". RIA Novost. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Russia, Italy to build helicopter assembly facility". The Voice of Russia. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "Italian, Russian Firms to Build Helicopter Factory". The Moscow Times. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  18. ^ Gazeta Wyborcza article from Feb. 2, 2010 [1]
  19. ^ "Northrop Grumman, Finmeccanica team up for US helicopters". Reuters. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  20. ^ "AHS - Sample Vertiflite article: Project Zero". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  21. ^ Emilio Parodi and Stephen Jewkes (12 February 2013). "Finmeccanica head arrested over India bribe allegations". Reuters. 
  22. ^ "VVIP chopper deal scam: Italy arrests Finmeccanica CEO, India orders CBI probe". ZEE News. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  23. ^ "India recovers Rs 1,818 crore from AgustaWestland". Mail Online. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal with AgustaWestland scrapped in view of bribery allegations". 
  25. ^ "AgustaWestland AW109 Power Light Multirole Helicopter - Aerospace Technology". Retrieved 28 July 2015. [unreliable source?]
  26. ^ a b c Key, Peter (30 April 2013). "Philly factory to begin producing new chopper". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 

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