Italy's AgustaWestland has signed a 560 million euro contract to supply 12 AW101 helicopters to the Indian Air Force, the firm announced March 11.
The contract for the helicopters, which will perform government transport duties, covers a five-year support deal and initial crew and technician training, the firm said.
AgustaWestland, a unit of Italy's Finmeccanica, has previously signed a joint venture with Tata Son for the production of the AW119 Koala, which it is proposing for the Indian Ministry of Defence's Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter (RSH) program.
The helicopters will be built at the company's facility in Yeovil, England. Deliveries to India are scheduled to be complete by 2013 said a company spokesman.
In its statement, the firm said the Indian military helicopter market could be worth 5 billion to 6 billion euros in the next 10 years, involving purchases of 600 helicopters. The firm currently provides support, training and upgrades to the Indian Navy for its Sea King helicopter fleet.
AgustaWestland said more than 180 AW101s have now been ordered. Helicopters already in service in Italy, the U.K., Denmark, Portugal, Japan and Canada have now totaled nearly 200,000 flight hours.
The European machine was selected last year having beaten out competition for the VIP order from U.S. rival Sikorsky offering the S-92.