Eurocopter Boosts Asian Prospects via Indonesia, Kazakhstan
Eurocopter has announced new business for EC145 and EC725 helicopters in recent weeks from Indonesia and Kazakhstan. They involve cooperative deals with local aerospace companies that Eurocopter hopes will enhance the company’s future sales growth in southeast Asia and central Asia.
Six EC725 Cougar medium-heavy helicopters will enter service with the Indonesian air force (IAF) in the combat search-and-rescue (SAR) role, after PTGI/Indonesian Aerospace has reassembled and customized them in its Bandung facility. The process recalls a previous arrangement in the 1980s under which SA330 Puma and AS332 Super Puma helicopters were delivered “green” to Bandung for assembly and finishing. Indonesian Aerospace has been manufacturing tailbooms and airframe parts for the EC225/725 series since 2008. But the IAF EC725 contract signals “a new era of cooperation with Eurocopter,” according to PTGI/Indonesian Aerospace president-director Budi Santoso. The six helicopters will be shipped from Europe in 2014.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan has signed a letter of intent for 20 EC725s to be assembled at a facility that Eurocopter is building in a joint venture with Kazakhstan Engineering at Astana Airport. They will enter service with the Kazakh armed forces. Kazakhstan previously selected the EC225 civilian version for VIP transport. Eurocopter has also sold eight more EC145 small-medium helicopters to Kazakhstan for medevac and SAR missions, following six supplied last year.
The country has said it requires 45 EC145s by 2016. The EC145s are also being assembled in Astana. Last year, Eurocopter chief executive Lutz Bertling said that the new relationship with Kazakhstan would help Eurocopter compete for new orders in Belarus, Russia and central Asia.