Leonardo (Agusta Westland)

Agusta and Westland first collaborated in the 1960s, when Westland started licence production of the Agusta AB47G, better known as the “Sioux”. Starting in 1964, Westland built 250 of these small helicopters at Yeovil. The relationship between Agusta and Westland evolved for more than 20 years through collaboration on the development and production of the 16-ton multi-role EH101 (now AW101). This association provided the platform which enabled the two Companies to conclude a rapid and effective integration when Finmeccanica S.p.A. of Italy and GKN plc of the UK signed the agreement for the formation of a 50: 50 joint venture company named AgustaWestland in 2001. In December, 2004 Finmeccanica acquired GKN’s 50 per cent stake in AgustaWestland.

In the following years the Company greatly expanded both its military and commercial product lines. For military customer the AW159 was introduced and on the commercial side a new family of helicopters comprising the AW169, AW139 and AW189 have been developed and achieved great market success. Outside of Italy and the UK AgustaWestland has greatly expanded its industrial presence in the United States with the expansion of AgustaWestland Philadelphia and in 2010 it acquired PZL-Swidnik of Poland. Agustawestland has also increased it global footprint by forming strategic partnerships and joint ventures with leading aerospace and defence companies in the United States, Russia, Japan, China, UAE, and Turkey, as well as establishing subsidiary companies in countries such as Malaysia and Brazil.

In 2015 AgustaWestland continues as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of rotorcraft with the most modern range of products backed up by a worldwide of customer support and training network that enable military and commercial customers to maximize the effectiveness of their fleets of AgustaWestland helicopters. With a strong focus on retaining its position as a leader in the rotorcraft industry, AgustaWestland invests more than 10% of its revenues in research and development and is introducing to the market the AW609 TiltRotor, the world’s first commercial tiltrotor, and developing rotary unmanned aerial systems alongside its range of conventional rotorcraft.

From 28 April 2016, the Shareholders’ Meeting approves Finmeccanica’s new name: it will be Leonardo – Società per Azioni.


Watch: First civil Tilt Rotor aircraft – AW 609 ⇐