Eurocopter Gains New Orders from Brazil, Greece

 - February 17, 2009, 11:41 AM

Defense business accounts for nearly half the turnover of Eurocopter, and recent export orders should help the EADS subsidiary overcome a downturn in commercial orders. Over the past two months, a major deal to supply 50 EC 725 Cougars to Brazil has been announced, followed by 15 more to Greece for SAR duties. Eurocopter subsidiary Helibras will assemble the Brazilian machines at Itajuba; they will go the country’s air force (18), army (16) and navy (16). Moreover, Eurocopter is pitching for some more big contracts in India  and the U.S., where it will offer an armed version of the EC 145 to the U.S. Army as an OH-58 replacement, following the termination of Bell’s contract to supply Model 407s for armed reconnaissance. Eurocopter’s U.S. subsidiary has already delivered to the U.S. Army more than 50 EC 145s, designated as UH-72A light utility helicopters. Eurocopter delivered a grand total of 588 helicopters last year, and expects to hand over a similar number this year. The order backlog is 1,550 helicopters worth €14 billion ($17.9 billion).