24-Jun-2011 Source: HeliHub.com
India will receive next year the first batch of the 12 helicopters for transportation of VIPs. Half the fleet is expected by the end of 2012 as the assembly of the first two helicopters has commenced at the manufacturer’s facilities in Europe.
â€œWe have started assembling the first two helicopters and will be soon moving to begin work on interior design. The helicopters are being made in batches of three, and two batches would be delivered by next year,â€ Bruno Spagnolini, AgustaWestland CEO said at a media briefing. Senior Vice-President Roberto Garavalia said the entire fleet should be handed over to India by 2013.
Last year, India ordered the twelve three-engine AW101 helicopters from AgustaWestland for â‚¬560 million, which includes product support for five years. The helicopter is expected to be operated by the elite Indian Air Force Communication Squadron and will replace the current fleet of Mi-8s and Mi-17s.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com