Algeria Buys 30 AgustaWestland Helicopters
By TOM KINGTON, FARNBOROUGH, UK – Details have emerged at the Farnborough Air Show of a sale of 30 helicopters of various types, including the AW139, by AgustaWestland to Algeria for parapublic use.
The deal was confirmed by sources knowledgeable of the signing, although AgustaWestland officials declined to comment and no details were available about when the contract was signed.
The Italian firm, which is a unit of Finmeccanica, has previously sold six AW101 helicopters to Algeria, as well as four Super Lynx 300 helicopters.
The latest deal concerns a mix of unarmed helicopters including the AW139, the sources said.
Rumors have swirled for months about a pending large sale of AgustaWestland helicopters to Algeria. Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini referred to the deal during his visit to Algeria in mid-July, with diplomatic sources valuing a 30-helicopter deal at 460 million euros ($591 million).
While AgustaWestland declined to comment, some official announcement may be made during the visit of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to Algeria in the autumn.