Airbus asks IAR explanations about partnering with U.S. company Bell

Airbus Helicopters, the helicopter manufacturing division of giant Airbus Group, sent an official letter to local IAR – Ghimbav Brasov, requesting information related to the memorandum recently signed between the leading company in the Romanian defense industry and the US company Bell Helicopter, informs, quoting

French aircraft manufacturer, which is in a partnership with IAR – Ghimbav for helicopters’ maintenance and modernization, warns that the previously mentioned Memorandum of Understanding jeopardizes Airbus Helicopters presence in Romania.

The letter is signed by Olivier Michalon, Senior Vice President – Head of Europe Region at Airbus Helicopters, and was sent on December 15 to the General Director of IAR SA, Ion Dumitrescu.

A copy of the document was also sent to the Ministry of Economy, which owns 64.89 percent of IAR SA shares.

This reaction comes after Bell Helicopter signed a Memorandum with IAR – Ghimbav on November 14, according to which the US giant might produce or assemble components of the AH-1Z “Viper” attack helicopter at the factory in Brasov if the Romanian Government decided to buy the attack vehicle.

In the official statement released by Bell, Ion Dumitrescu, General Director of IAR – Ghimbav Brasov said: “Bell Helicopter is a strong global partner and we are pleased to have this opportunity. We look forward to exploring different avenues of cooperation on one of the most capable platforms in the world.”

The response of the Romanian part, through Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Costin Borc was: “Romanian authorities have not been involved either as signatory part, nor otherwise in the business relations between IAR and Bell Helicopters, including the negotiations that you have developed and which led to the signing of the mentioned MoU.”

According to Airbus Helicopters, PM Deputy Borc told representatives of the French company to directly address to the General Director of IAR.

Airbus representatives warn IAR director that Bell is a direct competitor of its helicopter manufacturing division.


AH-1Z ViperAirbus Helicoptersattack helicopterbell helicopterDeputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Costin Borcdirect competitorGeneral Director of IAR SAhelicopter manufacturing divisionIAR - Ghimbav BrasovIon DumitrescuMemorandum of UnderstandingMinistry of EconomyOlivier MichalonRomanian defense industrySenior Vice President - Head of Europe Region at Airbus Helicopters
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