Thursday, 15 March 2012

Hyderabad gets helicopter manufacturing facility

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 15: Indian Rotorcraft on Thursday conducted a
groundbreaking ceremony at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, marking
the start of construction of a new helicopter production facility and
a new step in the development of the Indian aerospace industry.

The groundbreaking ceremony was conducted in the presence of Mr. Ratan
N Tata, chairman, Tata Sons, Mr. Bruno Spagnolini, CEO,
AgustaWestland, and other dignitaries.

Indian Rotorcraft is a joint venture company formed by Tata Sons and
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, which will assemble, customise
and flight test new helicopters for the worldwide market. The joint
venture will initially start to produce the 8-seat AW119Ke light
helicopter, with production commencing from mid-2013.

Mr. Ratan Tata said, “The project is integral to our plans in the
aerospace sector and we look forward to an enduring and successful
partnership with AgustaWestland for fostering the growth of the Indian
aerospace sector.”

“We are very pleased through our joint venture with Tata Sons to be
playing an important role in the development of the Indian aerospace
industry. Not only will this new facility be able to build helicopters
for the Indian market but importantly it will supply helicopters to
AgustaWestland customers around the world,” Bruno Spagnolini said.

He added, “Indian Rotorcraft will initially create jobs for more than
70 highly skilled staff who will be trained by AgustaWestland. We see
great potential to expand this facility in the future to become a
support centre and production centre for other helicopter types.”

The facility is being built on a 10 acre (40,000 m2) site adjacent to
the Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport and will include a
9,000 m2 (97,000 ft2) building incorporating a main assembly building,
flight hangar, office accommodation and outside several helicopter
landing pads. The facility will be capable of producing up to 30
helicopters per year and is designed to be further developed for other
helicopter types, right up to the 16-ton AW101. 

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