Tata Sons and Italian defence major AgustaWestland on Tuesday signed an agreement for formation of a joint venture company, which will establish a final assembly line for AW-119 helicopters for the Indian Army and the global market.

The agreement was signed here by Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata and AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi.

The AW-119 has been offered to India by Agusta for army’s requirement for 197 choppers to replace its ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak light helicopters.

The new company would be responsible for AW-119 final assembly, completion and delivery while AgustaWestland would be responsible for worldwide marketing and sales, Agusta officials said here. The first aircraft was scheduled to be delivered from the new facility in 2011 with production forecast to rise to 30 aircraft a year to meet worldwide demand, they added.

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