Airbus and IAR Ghimbav signed on November 6, 2018 the final 15-year exclusive contract, a document whose principles had been established by the initial agreement in August 2017 signed in Bucharest, in the presence of the French and Romanian presidents. Under the Definitive Collaboration Agreement, the IAR is the lead contractor for the H215M for any future order from the Romanian Defence Ministry aimed at replacing the aging fleet. Airbus was dissatisfied from time to time that there are no firm orders from the Romanian state, and there were warnings of a possible closure of the assembly line, hotnews.ro reports.
The H215 helicopter is produced since 2013 and currently 13 helicopters are used in six countries, with a total of 3,600 flight hours. The H215 was certified in September 2013, and in October 2013 the first delivery was made.
The helicopter can carry 22 passengers and two pilots, reaching 262 km/h, the maximum take-off mass is 8,600 kg, and the autonomy on standard tanks is 866 km (4 hours and 25 minutes). The ascent rate is 8.2 m/s. There are two versions: a 4,691-kilogram long multirole and a 4,449 kg smaller utility helicopter.