Photo credit © Airbus Helicopters
The Government of Romania and Airbus Helicopters have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in a ceremony at the Victoria Palace in Victory Square, the headquarters of the Romanian Government.
Present for the signing were Romanian Prime Minister Victor Viorel Ponta; Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Affairs Gabriel Oprea; Minister of National Defence Mircea Dusa; Minister of Economy Constantin Nita; Minister of Finance Maria Petrescu; Airbus Helicopters President Guillaume Faury; and Jean-Louis Mascle, General Executive Director of Eurocopter Romania.
The ceremony underscored the commitment by the Government of Romania and Airbus Helicopters to build on their shared history of success and to confirm the company’s presence in the country for future decades. Today’s memorandum paves the way for Airbus Helicopters to extend here in Romania, our activities and further develop our production capabilities for the Super Puma MK1 helicopter at Brasov Aerospace Technological Park. “The trust placed by Romania in Airbus Helicopters is more than reciprocated, and I hope that the investments we have made, and will continue to make, in Romania do demonstrate this to you today”, said Airbus Helicopters President, Guillaume Faury”.
With over 300 Pumas and Alouettes helicopters (IAR330 and IAR316) produced under licence in the 1970s for national and export markets, Airbus Helicopters has enjoyed a longstanding partnership with the Government of Romania. The helicopter manufacturer’s presence in Brasov dates to 2002 through Eurocopter Romania, a joint-venture with the state-owned company Industria Aeronautică Română (now IAR S.A. Brasov).
Over 170 highly skilled employees perform major inspections and repairs of Pumas and Super Pumas, as well as work on maintenance export contracts. In 2012, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence took possession of its first upgraded Puma Mk1 as part of the Puma Life Extension Programme (LEP) contract awarded to Eurocopter UK in 2009 which upgrades Mk1 helicopters to Mk2. The three-year support contract affects a fleet of 24 Royal Air Force Puma Mk1 helicopters being upgraded at Brasov to extend their life, and enhance performance, mission capability and operational safety. In addition, Airbus Helicopters aircraft perform missions for several Romanian State institutions, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Interior, and the Intelligence Service Agency (SRI).
Eurocopter Romania’s strides in developing cost-effective solutions to maintain and retrofit the workhorse Puma helicopter have been driven by the excellence of its workforce, and have earned global recognition for the Romanian facility, with achievements that have made the Brasov customer center a reference and success story in the production and overhaul of Pumas. With today’s memorandum, Airbus Helicopters hopes to benefit from this industrial capacity in its evaluation of development options for its family of twin-engine medium helicopters.