Kazakhstan, Eurocopter sign deal ahead of helicopter assembly
Kazakh state defence company Kazakhstan Engineering has signed an accord in France with European aerospace group Eurocopter, Central Asia Newswire reported referring to industry website Corporate Jet Investor.
The joint venture agreement was forged during a meeting in France between Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov and his French counterpart Francois Fillon.
Kazakhstan Engineering and Eurocopter plan to assemble and deliver six EC145 helicopters this year, the first step in a joint venture that envisages another 39 rotary aircraft being built by 2016.
They will be purchased by the Kazakh government for use the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Defence Ministry for medical airlift and search and rescue operations.
The six EC145s will be built at the joint venture's Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering facility at Astana Airport.
"As the first cooperation of this magnitude between our country and any helicopter manufacturer, Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering will help develop new expertise in high-technology industries," said Bolat Smagulov, president of state defence company Kazakhstan Engineering.
The twin-engine nine-seater aircraft can be used for corporate transportation or in emergency medical services, search and rescue, and utility roles.
"This joint venture holds particular importance for Eurocopter, as it gives us a key presence in a rapidly-developing country," the website quoted the company's CEO Lutz Bertling as saying.
"We foresee many new opportunities for the EC145 in this part of the world, based on the helicopter's capacity for missions in support of the oil and gas, mining, parapublic, government and corporate sectors, and in other applications as well," Bertling said.