AgustaWestland Awarded Navy Helicopter Contract





AgustaWestland Awarded Navy Helicopter Contract

By Bill Goldston

Egyptian Mk-2

November 19, 2009 - AgustaWestland, announce that its North America unit (AWNA) was awarded a $17.35 million U.S. Navy contract to provide depot level maintenance on three Egyptian Mk-2 variant H-3 helicopters. The contract provides full funding for this effort, which began in November 2008, and calls for complete refurbishment of the aircraft structure and all aircraft components. AWNA will also complete all safety checks to ensure the aircraft are flight ready.  

Work will be carried out at the company’s 88,000 ft2 maintenance repair and overhaul facility in Hagerstown, Maryland. Up to 20 new employees are expected to be added to the existing staff of 26 at Hagerstown Airport. All work on the H-3 helicopters is estimated to be completed in December of 2010. 


“AgustaWestland North America is honored to receive this contract from the U.S. Navy,” said AgustaWestland North America Chief Executive Officer, R. Scott Rettig. “I am proud of our team and our close working relationship with the U.S. Navy. I look forward to future growth and successes of our Hagerstown operations, as we continue to expand our U.S. footprint and meet the specific needs of the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense.”  

AgustaWestland North America, a subsidiary of AgustaWestland. AgustaWestland is a helicopter design and manufacturing company based in Italy and Somerset, in the United Kingdom. It was formed in July 2000 when Finmeccanica S.p.A. and GKN plc agreed to merge their respective helicopter subsidiaries (Agusta and Westland Helicopters) to form AgustaWestland with Finmeccanica and GKN each holding a 50% share. On May 26, 2004 GKN confirmed that it would sell its share to its partner for £1.06Bn.

AgustaWestland is now a fully owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica of Italy. 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. However, in February 2009, President Obama asked Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about placing the project on hold or canceling it because of its high cost. In June 2009, the US Navy announced that the contract has been terminated and funds will be reinvested in upgrades to the existing fleet of VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters. The projected total cost of the 28 helicopters planned under the program is over $13 billion.

The VH-71 Kestrel is a variant of the AgustaWestland AW101 (formerly EH101), that was being developed to replace the United States Marine Corps' Marine One Presidential transport fleet. It was being produced by the Lockheed Martin-led "US101 Team" of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego, AgustaWestland and Bell Helicopter. 

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