AgustaWestland is disappointed by the Turkish decision to select the US Sikorsky company for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Programme (TUHP). The TUHP was conceived from the very beginning as a Black Hawk acquisition project as it was the only suitable model available in the category. AgustaWestland, however, offered Turkey a product partnership to co-develop a new generation helicopter, the AW149, to be co-produced and sold domestically and in the international market.
AgustaWestland’s offer, which included an unprecedented level of cooperation with Turkish industry, would have allowed them to access new levels of know-how through technology transfer, design and manufacturing autonomy as well as worldwide market opportunities.
“Unfortunately Turkey’s decision was to opt for an old design of helicopter instead of leveraging on the fruitful collaboration and advantages achieved with the T129 programme. With today’s decision Turkey’s aerospace industry has lost a unique opportunity to become a major player in the helicopter industry through the co-development of a new generation helicopter,” said Mr. Ugo Rossini, Vice President Head of Europe.
AgustaWestland is committed to carrying on with the development of the AW149 which has already raised worldwide interest. Significant market opportunities exist for the AW149 with over 8000 ageing same-class helicopters expected to be replaced in the next 35 years.