State Corporation Rostec, Italy’s Finmeccanica and the oil company Rosneft have signed a tripartite agreement on strategic partnership. Under the agreement, the HeliVert plant near Moscow, a joint enterprise between Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland (subsidiaries of Rostec and Finmeccanica respectively) will launch production of medium AW189 helicopters, HeliVert currently produces medium commercial AW 139 helicopters (a lighter class) for Russia and CIS countries.
Rosneft, the world’s largest publicly-traded oil company, is joining the project as a new partner. Rosneft is slated to become the first customer for the AW189. By 2025, HeliVert is due to produce and deliver 160 helicopters to Rosneft. A preliminary phase of the cooperation will see the introduction of a first batch of 2 AW189 helicopters, followed by additional 8 units, to allow the operator to familiarize with the new technology and to set up the needed and appropriate infrastructures to get ready once Rosneft is ready for full scale operations with the new model.
The strategic partnership agreement was signed by Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov, Finmeccanica Group head Mauro Moretti and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin.
“Production of the AW189 within Russia opens up new opportunities for continuing our successful engagement with our Italian partners – the Finmeccanica Group and AgustaWestland. The project will be implemented on the basis of an exclusive licence agreement giving HeliVert the right to produce these helicopters for sale in Russia and to CIS countries,” Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov said. “Attracting the leading company in Russia’s oil sector, Rosneft, to join this project will give a new impetus to the further development of our joint venture, and to our expanded production.”
“We are proud of this agreement – Finmeccanica CEO and General Manager Mauro Moretti said – which provides further evidence of the modernity and competitiveness of our Family of new generation civil helicopters. The entry of the civil AW189 into the Russian market, following the success of the AW 139, is a major result for our strategy aimed at a further growth in a market which shows huge potential for helicopter operations”.
After the agreement was signed, Igor Sechin stressed “Developing shelf projects is Rosneft’s strategic goal. Attaining this goal is impossible without the latest Arctic and maritime technology, oil and gas platforms, and the latest aircraft. We are pleased with the agreement reached, thanks to which we are able to build strategic cooperation in this vital sphere.”
The multirole AW189 AgustaWestland is an intermediate class of helicopter, with a maximum take-off weight of 8.3 tonnes. This versatile helicopter was designed specifically for offshore use and search-and-rescue operations, and also to carry out cargo and passenger transport roles. The standard AW189 cabin is designed to carry 16 passengers. It has a maximum cruising speed of 287 km/hr, a maximum range of 600 nautical miles (1111 km) with additional fuel tanks.