20 April 2010

Eurocopter Receives Letter Of Acceptance From Defence Ministry

20 April 2010
EC-725 CSAR version (photo : air-rescuetek)

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Eurocopter has received a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from the Defence Ministry for the supply 12 EC725 helicopters for search and rescue (SAR) missions.

Eurocopter Senior Executive Vice President Philippe Harache said the helicopters, to be operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force, are scheduled for initial delivery in 2012, followed by the remainder of this fleet over a period of two years.

Eurocopter received the LOA this morning from Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, he said.

Eurocopter is working together with the government to finalise the contract, including the terms and conditions, he told reporters on the sidelines of Defence Services Asia 2010 here Tuesday.

Eurocopter is a subsidiary of EADS and the world's leading helicopter manufacturer.

"It's a global contract package, which by the way, still has to be signed.

"This morning, the minister said that the Cabinet meeting this Friday should definitely confirm what has been announced today, and detailing the various aspects of this contract," he said.

Harache said the new EC725 will complement and eventually replace the Royal Malaysian Air Force's ageing Sikorsky S-61 helicopter fleet, known as Nuri.

He said the EC725 fleet will allow RMAF to perform its utility and search and rescue missions, day and night in all weather conditions.

Malaysia has joined a growing list of government customers for the EC725, which includes Brazil (acquiring 50 EC725s), Mexico (with six helicopters on order) and France (currently operating a fleet of 19 EC725s).

As an upgraded version of the internationally successful Eurocopter Cougar family, the twin-engine EC725 is a medium-lift helicopter in the 11-metric tonne category and is fitted with a five-blade main rotor.

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