AgustaWestland S.p.A.
Company typeSubsidiary
Westland Helicopters
Defunct2016(2016-00-00) (aged 15–16) (merged into Leonardo S.p.A.)
SuccessorLeonardo Helicopters
HeadquartersRome, Italy
Key people
Daniele Romiti (chief executive officer)
Revenue€4,243 million (2012)[1]
€473 million (2012)[1]
Number of employees
12,500 (at 31 December 2015)[1]

AgustaWestland was an Anglo-Italian helicopter design and manufacturing company,[2] which was a wholly owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica (now known as Leonardo).[3] It was formed in July 2000 as an Anglo-Italian[4] multinational company, when Finmeccanica and GKN merged their respective helicopter subsidiaries (Agusta and Westland Helicopters) to form AgustaWestland,[5] with each holding a 50% share. Finmeccanica acquired GKN's stake in AgustaWestland in 2004.

In 2016, AgustaWestland was merged into Leonardo S.p.A. (formerly Finmeccanica), where it became the company's helicopters division under the Leonardo Helicopters brand.[6][7] "AgustaWestland" still exists as a subsidiary of Leonardo but the AgustaWestland public brand is no longer promoted.[citation needed]


The collaboration between Agusta and Westland dates back to 1981, when the two companies established the European Helicopter Industries joint venture with the aim of developing a new medium-size utility helicopter, the EH101.

In March 1999, Finmeccanica and GKN announced their intention to merge their respective helicopter subsidiaries.[8] The two parties announced finalised terms for the merger in July 2000, which included a 50-50 ownership structure, and the payment of top-up fees to GKN to compensate for a disparity in profit levels between Agusta and Westland.[9][10]

In January 2002, AgustaWestland announced that it would be cutting a total of 950 jobs in the United Kingdom and closing its factory in Weston-super-Mare, which carried out customer support work, as activity was concentrated at its main site in Yeovil.[11]

On 26 May 2004, GKN confirmed that it had agreed to sell its share of AgustaWestland to Finmeccanica for £1.06 billion.[12][13] The sale was approved by the British government in October 2004.[14]

AgustaWestland opened offices in Philadelphia in 2005 and won a contract to build the new presidential helicopter Marine One over the U.S. manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft, but this program was cancelled in 2009.[15] In November 2005, it was announced that AgustaWestland had agreed to acquire Bell Helicopter's 25 per cent interest in the AB139 medium twin helicopter program, and to increase its interest in the BA609 civil tiltrotor aircraft from 25 per cent to 40 per cent.[16]

Qinetiq AgustaWestland AW109E Power arrives for the 2014 Royal International Air Tattoo, England

In June 2008, AgustaWestland and the Russia-based helicopter manufacturer Russian Helicopters agreed to form a new joint venture company to assemble AW139 helicopters in Russia.[citation needed] Construction of a $50 million helicopter assembly facility in the town of Tomilino near Moscow began in June 2010.[17][18]

In early 2010, AgustaWestland acquired PZL-Świdnik, a Polish helicopter manufacturer.[19]

In September 2012, AgustaWestland and Northrop Grumman announced the signing of a comprehensive teaming agreement under which the companies would jointly bid for contracts to build the U.S. Air Force Combat Rescue helicopter and U.S. Navy's new "Marine One" presidential helicopter.[20]

In March 2013, AgustaWestland announced its Project Zero hybrid tiltrotor/fan-in-wing technology demonstrator. The unmanned demonstrator made its first tethered flight in June 2011 at AgustaWestland's Cascina Costa, Italy facility. According to the company, the aircraft "employs no hydraulics, doesn't burn fossil fuel and generates zero emissions."[21]

AgustaWestland AW101 order controversy

See also: 2013 Indian helicopter bribery scandal

India signed a contract to purchase 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters in February 2010 for the Communication Squadron of Indian Air Force to carry the president, PM and other VVIPs. The contract was frozen in February 2013 after allegations surfaced that US$60 million had been paid as a bribe.[22] On 12 February 2013, Giuseppe Orsi, the CEO of Finmeccanica, was arrested by Italian authorities;[23] the following day Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony ordered a probe into the contract.[24]

In January 2014, India cancelled the US$630 million deal, subsequently recovering the sum which it had paid.[25]

Merger into Leonardo

In 2016, following a corporate reorganization, AgustaWestland merged into Leonardo S.p.A., Finmeccanica's new name.[26] With this reorganization, AgustaWestland ceased to exist as a separate company, and it became Leonardo's helicopter division.

In 2020 Leonardo relaunched the "Agusta" brand for the VIP helicopter sector. The launch of the new brand was announced during Expo 2020 in Dubai.[27]


Model First flight Production status MTOW Description
Agusta A129 Mangusta 1983-09-11 present 4.6t attack helicopter
TAI/AgustaWestland T-129 2009-09-28 present 5t A129 development with TAI
AgustaWestland AW101/EH101 (Merlin) 1987-10-09 present 14.6t three-engine
AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant 2000-05-31 present 14.6t AW101 Canadian air-sea rescue designation
Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel 2007-07-03 2009 14.6t cancelled USMC Marine One AW101 VIP variant with Lockheed Martin and Bell Helicopter)
AgustaWestland AW109 1971-08-04 present 2.85t eight seats twin-engine
AgustaWestland AW109S Grand 1988 present 3.175t AW109 stretch
AgustaWestland AW119 Koala 1995-02 present 2.85t eight seats single-engine AW109
AgustaWestland AW139 2001-02-03 present 7t 15-seat twin-engine (former Bell/Agusta AB139)
AgustaWestland AW149 2009-11-13 present 8.6t medium-lift military helicopter
Westland Lynx 1971-03-21 present 5.33t military helicopter
AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat 2009-11-12 present 6t Lynx development
AgustaWestland AW169 2012-05-10 present 4.8t 10-seat twin-engine
AgustaWestland AW189 2011-12-21 present 8.3t twin-engine
AgustaWestland AW249 2022-08-12 present 7t attack helicopter, A129 replacement
AgustaWestland AW609 2003-03-06 present 7.62t tiltrotor (former Bell/Agusta BA609)
AgustaWestland Project Zero 2011-06 present ? hybrid tiltrotor/fan-in-wing demonstrator
NHI NH90 1995-12-18 present 10.6t twin-engine military helicopter (NHIndustries is 62.5% Eurocopter, 32% AgustaWestland and 5.5% Fokker Aerostructures)
PZL W-3 Sokół 1979-11-16 2015 6.4t twin-engine
PZL SW-4 1996-10-29 present 1.8t single-engine
Agusta-Bell 412 1979-08 present 5.4t licensed twin-engine
AgustaWestland Apache 1998-09 2004 9.5t GKN-Westland license of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, 67 built for the British Army
Kopter AW09 2014-10 present 2.65t former SH09

See also

Comparable major helicopter manufacturers:


  1. ^ a b c "Key information". AgustaWestland. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
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  7. ^ Leonardo – Helicopters
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  15. ^ "Gates outlines military spending overhaul". NBC News. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
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  19. ^ Gazeta Wyborcza article from 2 February 2010 [1]
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  21. ^ "AHS – Sample Vertiflite article: Project Zero". Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  22. ^ "Rs 3,600 crore VIP chopper deal with AgustaWestland scrapped in view of bribery allegations".
  23. ^ Emilio Parodi and Stephen Jewkes (12 February 2013). "Finmeccanica head arrested over India bribe allegations". Reuters.
  24. ^ "VVIP chopper deal scam: Italy arrests Finmeccanica CEO, India orders CBI probe". ZEE News. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  25. ^ "Key Agusta Westland accused names Kamal Nath's son, Ahmed Patel, Salman Khurshid: Report". Free Press Journal. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  26. ^ "Finmeccanica approves merger and spin-off operations for the implementation of the divisionalisation process". Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  27. ^ "Expo Dubai 2020". Archived from the original on 28 October 2021.