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AgustaWestland Expects Turkey Helicopter Decision Next Month

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- AgustaWestland, owned by Finmeccanica SpA of Italy, expects Turkey to choose a supplier next month for seven personnel-carrying police helicopters among bids including the company’s own AW139 model.

AgustaWestland, which is building combat helicopters for the Turkish army in a joint venture with state-owned Turkish Aerospace Industries Inc., based in Ankara, submitted its bid to the interior ministry in the summer, Roberto Garavaglia, senior vice president in charge of marketing, said in an interview on the sidelines of an airshow in Istanbul.

The other bidders are Eurocopter SAS, a unit of European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., and Textron Inc.’s Bell Helicopter unit, Garavaglia said. The list price for the most basic AW139 model is about 10 million euros ($12.6 million), he said. The fuselage for the seven helicopters would be built at the TAI plant in Ankara, Garavaglia said.

AgustaWestland has supplied about 20 of 32 commercial helicopters Turkish customers bought in the past five years, Garavaglia said. It will have supplied 60 T129 combat helicopters to the Turkish army under the ATAK project by 2018, he said. The number will increase to 91 later, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ercan Ersoy in Istanbul at eersoy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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