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de Victor Bratu 7.8.2017

Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu has signed on Wednesday a letter of intent on price and availability regarding the purchase of attack helicopters produced by Bell Helicopters, the document being addressed to the US government.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of National Defence, Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, together with the Minister of National Defence, Adrian Tutuianu, Minister of Economy Mihai Fifor, Chief of Staff, General Nicolae Ciuca and Chief of Air Force Staff, Lieutenant-General Laurian Anastasof, talked on Thursday with representatives of Bell Helicopter, at the Government headquarters.

The meeting at the Government headquarters has been preceded by a technical discussion at the headquarters of the Ministry of National Defence.

In the next period, the MApN announces, “there will be in depth discussions between the representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Bell Helicopter regarding the establishment of a joint venture but also the technological and know-how transfer that would allow the helicopter production on Romania’s territory.”

This decision will have a considerable direct impact on the economic development of our country, being at the same time a source of security in the region.

The acquisition of attack helicopters is grounded in the endowment plan approved on Tuesday by the Supreme Council of National Defence.

The contract for supplying helicopters to the Romanian Army is an argued one, as the first company that entered the competition is Airbus, which has already built a new helicopter plant at Ghimbav, inaugurated in 2016 in the presence of the former president of France.

It is worth mentioning: the same day the Prime Minister met with Bell representatives, French diplomacy announced to the Romanian media that French President Emmanuel Macron will arrive in Romania on August 24.

The presence of Airbus in Romania and the cooperation with IAR Ghimbav to produce an attack helicopter model has been conditioned by the launch of a “significant order to ensure the minimum production flow“.

After the Americans started to explore the Romanian market, Airbus Helicopters publicly warned that a potential collaboration with Bell Helicopters “jeopardizes the presence of Airbus Helicopters in Romania.

Ten days ago, the press also spoke about talks involving representatives of a Lockheed Martin company, Sikorsky, which proposed the acquisition of the Black Hawk model to Romania.

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