Eurocopter Romania delivers first upgraded Puma Mk2 to the UK Ministry of Defense

The Romanian subsidiary of Eurocopter has handed over the first upgraded Puma Mk2 to the UK Ministry of Defense, as part of larger program that will see a total of 20 helicopters modernized by the aeronautical group at its facility in Ghimbav, near Brasov.Eurocopter, an EADS...

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Eurocopter Romania delivers first upgraded Puma Mk2 to the UK Ministry of Defense



Ovidiu Posirca, Business Review - 25.09.2012

The Romanian subsidiary of Eurocopter has handed over the first upgraded Puma Mk2 to the UK Ministry of Defense, as part of larger program that will see a total of 20 helicopters modernized by the aeronautical group at its facility in Ghimbav, near Brasov.

Eurocopter, an EADS company, has reached a deal with the UK Ministry of Defence to upgrade 24 Pumas, in a contract worth EUR 300 million. Around 20 million were allotted for the Puma project in Romania

“There are 12 helicopters, all in different stages. Another 6 will be finalized by year end. The serial production has kicked off. In the end there will be 20 helicopters. They will be used in Afghanistan. This helicopter is expensive, over EUR 10 million,” said Neculai Banea, general director of IAR Brasov and administrator of Eurocopter Romania.

The completion of the Puma helicopter marked 10 years of Eurocopters’ activity in Romania after setting up a joint venture with Romania’s IAR Brasov. The company has provided maintenance repair and overhaul services in Romania during its first decade of operations.

PM Ponta said the Ghimbav plant has become an important industrial center for the Eurocopter group.  He added that his government will support further developments of the company locally.

“I wish in the future for the Eurocopter Group to extend its activities in Ghimbav by creating a production line and it will get all the necessary support from the government I am heading,” said Ponta. The PM went on board the Puma Mk2 with the UK Ambassador Martin Harris for a short flight around Brasov.

More than 120 Eurocopter helicopters, including Pumas, Super Pumas, Dauphins and EC 135s, have been overhauled in the 4,500 facility in Ghimbav. The firm has also delivered over 25 new and previously-owned helicopters.

“We chose Romania because we knew that we could find good competences here. We have 190 employees and I think we can increase this in the shortest time,” said Jean-Louis Mascle, general director of Eurocopter Romania.

The upgrade to Puma Mk2 brings improvements in performance and safety. Helicopters will be fitted with new Makila 1A1 turbo shaft engines, and will have a full glass cockpit incorporating modern avionics and a flight management system. Eurcopter will implement a digital automatic flight control system, as well as other systems for secure communications and ballistic protection.

The enhanced Puma will represent a key element of the UK’s medium battlefield support helicopter capability. It will be deployed for tactical troop and load movement by day and night.

Eurcopter, which reached last year EUR 26.3 million in turnover, has delivered two EC 135 helicopters for medical evacuation missions. The company was contracted last year by the Romanian Ministry of Healthcare to deliver six such helicopters.

Source: business-review.ro


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