Northrop Grumman Corporation and AgustaWestland announced today that they have signed a comprehensive teaming agreement to respond to anticipated requests for the new US Air Force (USAF) combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter and the US Navy’s recently announced programme to develop a new ‘Marine One’ Presidential Helicopter. A US built-helicopter based on the AW101 platform will be offered by Northrop Grumman to meet these requirements. The partnership will combine Northrop Grumman’s management and systems integration expertise with AgustaWestland’s rotorcraft manufacturing and advanced helicopter design/development. The companies stated that the aircraft would be fully integrated with the advanced mission suites, integrated onboard sensors and communications systems, adding that the AW101 system is a mature, combat-proven aircraft.
Paul Meyer, vice-president and general manager of advanced programmes and technology at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, explained: “This is a strong partnership between two companies that combines each company’s strengths. While Northrop Grumman has broad expertise in systems integration of large aircraft programmes, AgustaWestland has world-leading expertise in global rotorcraft and vertical-lift. We believe that this industry partnership will bring together the best experience, expertise and resources, ensuring that the customer receives the best solution.”
Bruno Spagnolini, chief executive officer of of AgustaWestland, added: “We are delighted to have Northrop Grumman as a partner, with their impressive history of supporting the US Department of Defense. We strongly believe that the AW101 is the right aircraft for both missions and that this team can succeed.”