HANGZHOU, June 27 (Xinhua) -- A Sino-Italian helicopter production program worth 12.8 billion yuan (1.86 billion U.S.dollars) has been established in eastern China's Zhejiang province, sources with Pinghu municipal government in Zhejiang said Thursday.
The program, located in Pinghu Park of the Zhangjiang Yangtse River Delta Hi-Tech Area, will be a completion and delivery center, as well as a production line for the Italian leading aviation giant Leonardo Corporation in the Asia-Pacific region.
According to the program between the European company and Chinese general aviation firm Shanghai Zenisun, two production lines for the AW109 and AW139 helicopters will be constructed.
The annual production capacity will reach 150 helicopters with an annual output value of 16 billion yuan (about 2.33 billion U.S. dollars).
The program is part of the country's strategic programs under the Belt and Road Initiative and will be an important driving force for the construction of an aviation emergency rescue system covering China.
According to the Pinghu municipal government, the program will help to boost the local equipment manufacturing industry.
The Leonardo Corporation showed various new helicopters at the first China International Import Expo celebrated last year in Shanghai, where the helicopter production program was put forward.
The program will start in November this year, and the first group of helicopters will roll off the production line in 2020.