AgustaWestland, February 01, 2003 - AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica and GKN Company, is pleased to announce that it has signed a contract for a continuation of its U.S. Coast Guard HITRON (Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron) program.
This contract covers a one-year lease term, for a value approaching $12 million, renewable for up to four additional years. The contract covers the current eight helicopters, with an option to add up to two (2) additional aircraft, at the direction of the Coast Guard.
In 2000 Agusta Aerospace Corporation, a US subsidiary of AgustaWestland, was awarded a competitive contract by the USCG for eight A109 Powers for the USCG's HITRON TEN program. HITRON lease management has been brought under the scope of the Deepwater contract.
"We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Coast Guard for this very important Homeland Security mission," said AgustaWestland Inc.'s President, Stephen C. Moss. "We look forward to supporting the ICGS Deepwater mission, and this new airborne use of force element as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin."
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics and Surveillance Systems is a subcontractor to Integrated Coast Guard Systems, the prime contractor to the U.S. Coast Guard for the Integrated Deepwater System contract. Under the new deal, AgustaWestland will lease MH-68A helicopters, dedicated versions of the twin-engine A109 Power. MH-68As already operate with the drug busting squadron; the aircraft usually deploy from Coast Guard cutters and interdict fast-moving boats carrying illegal narcotics. A number of successful operations have already taken place in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
The Deepwater program is also considering the AB139 helicopter as its future Vertical take-off and landing Recovery and Surveillance (VRS) solution. The AB139 has been evaluated by Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS), a joint venture established by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, as part of their proposed aviation platform solution.