By By Andrew Driwega, International Bureau Chief | October 3, 2014
|A Puma Mk2 of the Royal Air Force on exercise in Portugal.
Photo courtesy Airbus Helicopters
Following the successful delivery of the first Puma Mk2s to the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force (RAF) in connection with a 2012 contract with the Ministry of Defence, Airbus Helicopters has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Romanian government for the development of Puma upgrade facilities at Brasov Aerospace Technological Park in Romania.
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Viorel Ponta and other ministers joined Airbus Helicopters President Guillaume Faury and Jean-Louis Mascle, general executive director of Eurocopter Romania at the signing.
Airbus Helicopters has had a presence in Barov since 2002 through a joint venture with Industria AeronauticÃÆ RomânÃÆ (now IAR S.A. Brasov). More than 300 Pumas and Alouettes (IAR330 and IAR316) have been produced under license at the facility which is home to approximately 170 employees who perform inspections and repairs. Romanian-produced Pumas continue to operate with military operators around the world including the UAE, Sudan, Lebanon as well as Romania.