Mihai Fifor, the minister of defence, said that a large share of the 45 attack helicopters that Romania intends to acquire will be manufactured by Bell Helicopters at Ghimbav, Brasov, if a deal is struck with the American company.
“(…) we are discussing with Bell Helicopters in the same terms, out of 45 attack helicopters that Romania aims to buy, first will be manufactured on the (production – e.n) line in Texas, but most of them will be made in the line that Bell Helicopters will have at Ghimbav, Brasov. I mean these are the terms in which we are discussing with the big partners we have,” said Fifor.
In August, the Romanian Government and Bell Helicopters signed a letter of price intention and availability. Although it hasn’t been confirmed officially, the approved model that will be purchased will be the attack helicopter AH-1Z Viper.
„We want to make a technology and know-how transfer in Romania, to have industrial cooperation in defense field and mainly, to restart the Romanian defense industry, which was very well positioned and recognized at global level at a certain point,” said Fifor.
Fifor said that Romania is negotiating also with Bell Helicopters to produce the attack helicopters at Ghimbav.
In August the minister of defense, the PM and other Romanian officials, signed a letter of price intention and availability on the attack helicopters acquisition from Bell Helicopters that was to be addressed to the USA Government.
At that time, the officials said that there will be deeper discussions between the Economy Ministry’s representatives and the ones of Bell Helicopters regarding the set up of a mixed company.
The American company and IAR SA (majority stake owned by the Economy Ministry) have in development an agreement memorandum signed in November 2016 through which the two parties agree on a potential collaboration consisting in technical support in case Romania buys the attack helicopter AH-1Z Viper.