December 7, 2006 :
AgustaWestland and PZL-Swidnik Announce A Partnering Agreement
For The Polish Ministry of Health Helicopter Tender
UK / Italy : (AgustaWestland Press Release ) -
AgustaWestland and PZL-Swidnik are pleased to announce their partnering agreement that will see the two companies co-operating on the Polish Ministry of Health tender for 23 Emergency Medical Service (EMS) helicopters. AgustaWestland in partnership with PZL- Swidnik will offer the most advanced EMS helicopter in service today, the AgustaWestland Grand. PZL-Swidnik already manufactures the complete Grand airframe and if selected PZL-Swidnik will provide product and customer support services after delivery of the aircraft.
PZL-Swidnik and AgustaWestland have already been co-operating successfully for over 10 years with production of the AgustaWestland Grand, A119 Koala, A109 Power, A109 LUH and AW139 airframes all being carried out in Poland, with over 1000 skilled jobs at its Swidnik plant being supported by AgustaWestland programmes.
The AgustaWestland Grand is a new top-of-the-range light twin helicopter developed to meet a wide range of roles and provides levels of cabin space and payload that until now could only be met by larger, more expensive helicopters. The Grand’s spacious, unobstructed passenger cabin and wide sliding cabin doors, each 1.40m wide, provides easy access for stretchers and patients. With its large cabin, high performance and low vibration levels the Grand sets a new standard in the EMS/air ambulance helicopter market. The Grand’s medical interior has been designed utilising feedback from specialist user groups in Europe, North America and Australia to provide the most ergonomic and practical layout for paramedics and doctors. The cabin design and layout provides the paramedic or doctor with access to the entire patient’s body while the ergonomically designed medical equipment installation allows quick and easy access to the comprehensive medical equipment package. Additionally the large cabin windows of the Grand provide excellent external visibility avoiding crew disorientation and the cause of air sickness.
Powered by two PW207C engines, each rated at 716 kW (960 shp) for take-off, the Grand has exceptionally good hot and high performance, and importantly for EMS operations provides unmatched emergency single engine performance and safety. Also with a maximum speed of 311 km/h the Grand has a significant advantage over its competitors, being able to get to critical patients to hospital 20% quicker, giving them a greater chance of survival. The fully retractable wheeled landing gear of the Grand contributes to this speed advantage while reducing the fuel consumption and increasing the range. The Grand with its wheeled landing gear, like all current medical helicopters in Poland, can operate safely from unprepared surfaces with the additional benefit of being able to be easily manoeuvred and taxied on the ground.
The AgustaWestland Grand has achieved significant sales in the EMS market and recently the Swiss Air-Rescue Service, REGA, ordered eight Grand helicopters to equip its rescue bases. The Agustawestland Grand was selected as the best helicopter capable of carrying out the EMS and rescue mission in the demanding Swiss environment, following an extensive evaluation process by REGA specialists.
The selection of the Grand for the Ministry of Health tender would also bring a range of additional benefits to PZL-Swidnik and the Polish economy including the establishment of an AgustaWestland service centre in Poland creating and maintaining skilled jobs for the next 25 to 30 years. Also at the PZL- Swidnik factory production of the Grand airframes would be increased creating further skilled work and employment.
AgustaWestland – PZL-Swidnik Co-operation Background
AgustaWestland and PZL-Swidnik are very proud of their strong industrial co-operation that started more than 10 years ago. In 1997 PZL-Swidnik started fuselage production of AgustaWestland’s A109 Power helicopter with a dedicated workforce of around 60 employees. Over the years, this successful co-operation has grown to what we see today, with fuselage production of five AgustaWestland helicopter types in PZL-Swidnik (A109 Power, A109 LUH, A119 Koala, AW139 and Grand). As a result of this successful co-operation with AgustaWestland, PZL Swidnik today employs more than 1000 skilled direct and indirect workers on AgustaWestland programmes. After celebrating the delivery of the 500th fuselage to AgustaWestland in June 2006, PZL-Swidnik has now delivered more than 560 fuselages to date at with production running at a rate of 12 fuselages per month now. The consolidated turnover for PZL-Swidnik from AgustaWestland is today well in excess of US$25 million and the co-operation accounts for almost 25% of the company’s annual revenues. This co-operation is forecast to grow further with the next 500 airframes being delivered in just over three years time.