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Mon, Apr 14, 2008

AgustaWestland Opens New Regional Business Headquarters In Japan

Will Support Growing Defense, Commercial Sales In Region

AgustaWestland, in support of its increasing business activities in Japan, announced last week the opening of its new regional business headquarters in Tokyo. The opening ceremony was attended by Finmeccanica Chief Operating Officer Giorgio Zappa, AgustaWestland Chief Executive Officer Giuseppe Orsi, Italian Ambassador Mario Bova and British Ambassador Sir Graham Fry.

"We are proud to announce the opening of our new business headquarters in Tokyo to support our expanding and already significant presence in Japan," said Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, AgustaWestland. "AgustaWestland has seen its position and share of the Japanese helicopter market steadily increased in recent years to become a major supplier of helicopters to both the commercial and government markets. The new headquarters will play an important role to further expand our business in Japan where we see significant future business opportunities." AgustaWestland has a longstanding and successful presence in Japan. Several partnerships involving primary players including Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, Marubeni, Kaigai Aviotech and Kanematsu have further reinforced AgustaWestland's role in the country.  

AgustaWestland and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) signed a license production and purchase agreement in 2003 to produce and support the Japanese MCH101s, as the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force's AW101s have been designated. The AW101 was selected in September 2003 with orders for 14 units for Airborne Mine Countermeasures (11) and Antarctic Support (3) roles. Additionally, one AW101 is operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Agency.  The Japan Coast Guard has recently taken delivery of three AW139 medium twin helicopters, ordered in late 2006 as the initial phase of a replacement program for up to 24 helicopters to perform maritime search and rescue and patrol missions. Two additional helicopters have been ordered and they are expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter 2008. 

AgustaWestland also reports growing success in the law enforcement market. The AW109 Power has been selected by the Japan National Police Agency for 16 prefectures including the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Agency.

With 18 aircraft already in service, the AW109 Power and the AW139 are now the benchmark helicopters for Law Enforcement operations In Japan. The first Japanese AW139 helicopter was delivered to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Agency in 2006.

AgustaWestland sees a significant number of new opportunities in the Japanese market for the doctor Heli emergency medical service, fire fighting, disaster relief, electronic news gathering, utility applications and ongoing training and support services. Marubeni Aerospace, Mitsui Bussan Aerospace and Kaigai Aviotech are AgustaWestland's official distributors in the country with Kanematsu Corporation representing the company for the JNPA light twin engine helicopter replacement program.

FMI: www.agustawestland.com

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