What do you get when Italians, Brazilians and Brits join together? We will find out soon when AgustaWestland teams up with Embraer to build helicopters in Brazil. The two have signed a MOU to build twin engine, medium lift helicopters.
While some of these may join Sao Paulo’s fleet of around 500 helicopters or go into military service, the real aim is to capitalise on Brazil’s growing offshore industry. Petrobras has just submitted plans for more offshore projects and everyone agrees that Brazil can only become an even more important helicopter market.
AgustaWestland already has joint ventures with NATO Helicopter Industries; China’s AVIC II; the Libyan Company for Aviation Industry; as well as planned joint ventures with Russia’s Oboronprom; and India’s Tata. Add to that co-operations with: Boeing; Kawasaki Heavy Industries; South Africa’s Denel; Turkey’s TAI; and Poland’s PZL-Swidnik; and you have to really admire AgustaWestland’s management team for being able to cope with 10, very different partners. Brazil should be easy.