Kazakhstan has signed a letter of intent to acquire 20 Eurocopter EC725 helicopters, marking a major new commitment for this medium-lift rotorcraft. These aircraft, which will be assembled in Kazakhstan, will be used by the country’s Ministry of Defense in a full range of mission applications.
The agreement, formalized at this month’s KADEX-2012 military exposition in Astana, further expands Kazakhstan’s relationship as a Eurocopter helicopter operator and industrial partner. It also provides a helicopter that is complementary to Eurocopter’s EC145, for which Kazakhstan is purchasing 45 under terms of a framework contract involving in-country assembly by the Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering 50/50 joint venture at Astana.
“With an ongoing success story based on the EC145 assembled locally in Astana, Eurocopter is proud to strengthen its strategic partnership with the Republic of Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan Engineering. Based on both a long term plan and mutual trust, our joint goal is to create a sustainable helicopter industry in Kazakhstan” said Olivier Lambert, Eurocopter’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Customer Relations. “We are confident that the unequalled versatility and operational performances of the EC725 make it the best choice to fulfill 21st century operational requirements”.
The EC725 is a member of Eurocopter’s 11-metric-ton Cougar military helicopter family. The most recent contracts have been signed with several military services including France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, and recently Indonesia. Its capabilities are being clearly demonstrated by the rotorcraft’s current Afghanistan deployment with the French Forces in its Caracal version.
Designed for operations from land and ships, the multi-role EC725 is equipped with a de-icing system and is qualified for flight in cold weather conditions. Its avionics includes a four-axis autopilot, and the helicopter’s large cabin is complemented by the ability to carry a range of armament and sensors.
Thanks to all of these equipments, the EC725 will allow a large panel of missions that includes tactical transport, Search and Rescue (SAR), special operations (C.SAR), naval operations (from ships and land).
The Republic of Kazakhstan has already chosen the civil version of the EC725 (EC225) for governmental VIP transportation.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace and defense-related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 20,000 people. In 2011, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s number one helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 5.4 billion Euros, orders for 457 new helicopters and a 43 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors.