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Agusta Moves Koala Production to US (Mar. 3)

PHILADELPHIA, PA --- AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica and GKN company, today announced it will expand the manufacturing facility of U.S. subsidiary Agusta Aerospace Corporation (AAC) located in Philadelphia, PA. The new facility will open by the end of summer and provide additional space for the manufacturing and final assembly of the Agusta A119 Koala helicopter, presently manufactured in Italy.

“We are committed to expanding our presence in the United States and take great pride in this expansion of AgustaWestland’s Philadelphia facility,” said Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, Chairman and CEO of Finmeccanica. “With our large Union Switch and Signal facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania houses more Finmeccanica high tech jobs than any other state in the U.S.”

“This investment is the latest step in the continued expansion of AgustaWestland’s 15 year history working closely with law enforcement, the Pentagon, the Coast Guard and the department of Homeland Security. We are providing superior and technologically advanced aircrafts for their missions, whether those be emergency response, law enforcement, executive transport or fighting the war on terror,” said Giuseppe Orsi, Managing Director of Agusta SpA.

“AgustaWestland’s continuing investment in bringing more high-skill jobs to this community is a testament to both the company’s level of corporate citizenship and to the continued desirability of Pennsylvania as a hub for global business” said Governor Edward G. Rendell.

This expansion comes at a time when the company is competing for a contract to build the new helicopters that will make up the “Marine One” fleet of the President of the United States. AgustaWestland is part of a team comprised of more than 100 companies from around the United States that includes Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopter, and General Electric who have teamed to offer the US101 medium lift helicopter as the next Marine One.

Agusta has been operating in Philadelphia for more than 20 years, located in the current facility since 1988. AAC has been responsible for sales, assembly, customization and support of the A109 product line throughout the Americas. In addition, the company serves as the consolidation point for more than $100 million worth of annual exports to Italy in support of many AgustaWestland product lines.

The $6.8 million expansion of the plant will increase the workforce by almost 50 percent. The state-of-the-art, 40,000 square foot workspace will include flight hangars, completion and final assembly areas, manufacturing stations, and avionics assembly. This is the first phase of expansion, with further growth expected in the future.

The A119 Koala is designed for aerial work, law enforcement missions, light utility, medical evacuation and flight training. The helicopter is used by state police agencies, Emergency Medical Services and offshore companies across the country.

“It makes great long-term economic sense to bring the manufacturing and production of the Koala to our Philadelphia plant as we continue to innovate new technologies and product lines specifically catered to the needs of the U.S.’s foremost federal government agencies, law enforcement and emergency response agencies,” Mr. Orsi said.

The total investment for building the new plant and relocating the production operations will be approximately $12 million. Training for U.S. employees has begun in Vergiate, Italy, where the Koala is currently manufactured and assembled.

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica and GKN company, is one of the largest helicopter company in the world. The company offers an unrivaled range of products designed to satisfy the most diverse requirements of civil and military customers. Committed to delivering outstanding products and services, AgustaWestland is capable of supporting wide-ranging missions in globally competitive markets. AgustaWestland has its primary operations in Cascina Costa, Italy, and Yeovil, United Kingdom. AgustaWestland has two subsidiaries in the USA: AgustaWestland Inc located in Arlington, VA and Agusta Aerospace Corporation located Philadelphia, PA., where the Agusta helicopters are assembled and customized for the US market.

AgustaWestland Expands Philadelphia Manufacturing Facility