PHILADELPHIA, May 2 (UPI) -- AgustaWestland is setting up a final assembly line for AW169 helicopters at its present facility in Pennsylvania.
The AW169 -- suitable for law enforcement, air ambulance and other transport needs -- is expected to receive civil certification next year.
AgustaWestland said the first AW169 will be inducted at the Philadelphia facility for final assembly in May 2014 for delivery the following year. It is expected that about 20 of the aircraft will be produced on the line each year by 2017.
"As a major producer of commercial helicopters in the United States, we are pleased to further expand our production portfolio to include the AW169," said William Hunt, chief executive officer of AgustaWestland Philadelphia. "The arrival of the AW169 production line will secure and create jobs here in Philadelphia and within our supply chain in North America.
"The AW169 has generated an exceptionally good response in the market place since its launch securing orders for more than 80 aircraft. As the only new generation helicopter in its class for more than 30 years we believe it will be a great success and we are proud that the AW169 will be assembled in Philadelphia for our customers in the United States and around the world."