First Licence Built EH101 Delivered By Kawasaki
AgustaWestland, March 26, 2007 - UK / Italy - AgustaWestland is pleased to announce the delivery by Kawasaki of the first ever licence built EH101 helicopter to their Customer, the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF).
The aircraft was accepted by the customer on the 23rd March at Kawasaki Aerospace’s Gifu plant in Japan. The aircraft is the second MCH101 to be delivered to the JMSDF, the first having been assembled at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility prior to delivery to Kawasaki for customisation and completion.
Alan Johnston, Managing Director AgustaWestland, said ‘We are delighted that this aircraft is being delivered on schedule as a result of great teamwork between Kawasaki and AgustaWestland. The delivery of the first licence built EH101 marks the start of a new chapter in the EH101 programme which will see Kawasaki increasing its MCH101 manufacturing and support capabilities.”
AgustaWestland and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) signed a licence and purchase agreement in 2003 to produce and support the Japanese MCH101s. KHI has now established manufacturing, test flight and support facilities at its Gifu works in Japan.
Fourteen utility rear-ramped variants of the EH101 have been selected to replace the JMSDF’s fleet of Sikorsky MH-53Es and S-61s in the airborne mine countermeasures and Antarctic support roles respectively. Assembly of the third aircraft is underway in Japan and the remaining 11 aircraft kits will be prepared by AgustaWestland in the Europe for final assembly by Kawasaki in Japan.
In addition to the JMSDF MCH101s there are now over 120 aircraft in service with the armed forces of the UK, Italy, Denmark, Portugal and Canada.
AgustaWestland continues to grow its presence in Japan with the success of not only the EH101 but notably the A109 Power and AW139 helicopters in the commercial and government agency markets.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries MCH-101 8652 ( Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force )