AgustaWestland Breaks Ground On New Production Facility In Philadelphia

Agusta aerospace corporation (AAC) in Philadelphia, PA will be used for the production of the AB139 helicopter.

AgustaWestland, November 29, 2005 - AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, today broke ground on an expansion of its U.S. subsidiary manufacturing facility, Agusta aerospace corporation (AAC), in Philadelphia, PA. The new, state-of-the-art facility will be used for the production of the AB139 helicopter. The groundbreaking was commemorated by a ceremony at the site of the new facility with a number of distinguished guests and elected officials, including Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA.), Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA.), and Italian Ambassador to the United States Giovanni Castellaneta. The new facility will be constructed beginning early next year and completed by the end of 2006.

"Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland are intergal part of the US industrial base and strong contributors to the American economy," said Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, president and chief executive officer of Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland's parent company. "We are committed to investing in this country. Our goal is to continue growing, bringing new technology and creating more American jobs in the years to come." The 110,000 square foot facility will include flight hangars, completion and final assembly areas, manufacturing stations and avionics assembly along with warehouse and office space. The project will require over $27 million in investment and create 150 jobs, thereby nearly doubling AAC's existing workforce. "Today is a very proud day for AgustaWestland and Agusta aerospace corporation," said Giuseppe Orsi, chief executive officer of AgustaWestland. "The expansion of AAC exemplifies the success and subsequent high demand for our AB139 and marks our commitment to the United States industrial base and continued investment in the city of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania." The AB139 is a mid-size twin-engine helicopter. Nearly 150 orders for AB139s have been placed by both U.S. and global customers for a wide range of roles, including: offshore transport, search and rescue, corporate and VIP transport, law enforcement and medical evacuation, making it the best selling helicopter in its class.

"AgustaWestland's expansion project provides a direct and sustained stimulus to the regional economy byway of increased investment and job creation," said Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA.), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. "It is further evidence of AgustaWestland honoring its commitment to the region and demonstrating a high level of corporate citizenship in the community." AgustaWestland's decision to assemble this helicopter in Philadelphia reinforces the fact that this region is an ideal location for global business," said Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA.). "I am also optimistic about future contributions by AgustaWestland towards creating a stronger economy and I salute the company for its long-term commitment to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States of America." Agusta has been operating in Philadelphia for more than 20 years, located in its current facility since 1988. AAC will add the production of the AB139 to its responsibility of sales, assembly, customization and support of the A109 and A119 Koala product line throughout the Americas. Additionally, AAC serves as the consolidation point for more than $100 million worth of annual exports to Italy in support of AgustaWestland product lines. "It makes great long-term economic and political sense to strengthen the links between two allies, the United States and Italy," said Giovanni Castellaneta, Italian Ambassador to the United States. "Representing one of these links, AgustaWestland's long-term relationship with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States will directly benefit the peace and prosperity of both Americans and Italians."

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