French group Airbus Helicopters will produce the first helicopter at the new plant in Ghimbav, Brasov county, which was inaugurated last year, at the end of 2018 the earliest.
This will happen only if Airbus Helicopters gets a number of orders required to launch the production. The French group is particularly interested in a contract for replacing the Romanian Army’s Puma military helicopters fleet, according to group representatives, reports local Hotnews.ro.
A high official of Airbus Helicopters has scheduled a meeting with Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu. The U.S. group Bell Helicopter has also recently had meetings with Romanian officials to discuss a potential contract.
The new factory of Airbus Helicopters in Ghimbav has a maximum capacity of 15 helicopters per year. “It doesn’t seem much, but actually it is. 15 helicopters (per year) is a lot. If you consider the next 30 years, because the investment is for 30 years, there are 450 helicopters,” said Olivier Michalon, senior deputy president for Airbus Helicopters.
The group’s investment in the Ghimbav plant amounted to EUR 52 million. When the factory was inaugurated last year in the presence of French President Francois Hollande, former Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said that Romania’s Interior Ministry and Defense Ministry would buy several helicopters.