Northrop Grumman and AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, have signed a comprehensive teaming agreement to respond to anticipated requests for both the new U.S. Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter and the U.S. Navy’s recently announced program to develop a new “Marine One” presidential helicopter.
A U.S.-built helicopter based on the AW101 platform will be offered by Northrop Grumman to meet these requirements.
The agreement pairs Northrop Grumman’s proven management and systems integration expertise with AgustaWestland’s world-renowned rotorcraft manufacturing and advanced helicopter design and development. The AW101 system offers both programs an optimum mix of capability to successfully bring the best possible new combat rescue helicopter to the Air Force and the best possible new presidential Helicopter to the Navy-Marine Corps team.
Northrop Grumman has a long history of success in managing the development of complex air systems. The company delivers products across a spectrum of capabilities – from fully autonomous strategic unmanned systems such as the Fire Scout and Global Hawk to the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, the stealthy B-2 bomber and the most advanced battle management system in the world today, the E-8 Joint STARS. That record will be coupled with the continuous investment in rotorcraft technology development AgustaWestland has made to field the world’s most advanced, rugged and reliable helicopters.
Northrop Grumman and AgustaWestland are partnering to offer affordable systems that are total solutions without compromise. These will be proven, advanced rotorcraft, built in the United States and fully integrated with the most advanced mission suites, integrated onboard sensors and communications systems available today. These systems will meet the future needs of both programs. The AW101 system is a mature, reliable, highly capable and combat-proven multimission aircraft that affordably meets the needs of the nation’s combat search and rescue forces and will serve the nation’s presidents far into the future.
“This is a strong partnership between two companies that combines each company’s strengths,” said Paul Meyer, vice president and general manager of advanced programs and technology at Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. “While Northrop Grumman has broad expertise in systems integration of large aircraft programs, 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.”
“We are delighted to have Northrop Grumman as a partner, with their impressive history of supporting the U.S. Department of Defense,” said Bruno Spagnolini, chief executive officer of AgustaWestland. “We strongly believe that the AW101 is the right aircraft for both missions and that this team can succeed.”