Embraer, AgustaWestland to co-manufacture choppers

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 22 (IANS) Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Anglo-Italian AgustaWestland to co-manufacture helicopters for the Latin American market.

The companies expect the joint venture to make helicopters for both commercial and military use within a few months, after they reached a final agreement on the matter and obtained necessary permits, reported Xinhua.

Embraer President and CEO Frederico Fleury Curado mentioned the project as "an important step".

"We are certain that the combined skills and competences of Embraer and AgustaWestland will create great value for the region," he said.

Bruno Spagnolini, CEO of AgustaWestland, said the Brazil market is important for the company and the partnership with Embraer will help AgustaWestland expand in "one of the world's fastest growing markets".

"We are pleased to have signed the MoU with Embraer," said Spagnolini.

According to Embraer, preliminary studies show strong market potential for twin-engine, medium-lift helicopters in the region, especially those that meet the needs of offshore oil and gas exploitation.

Helicopters for military and executive transport use show market potential as well, the company added.

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