Romanian Defense Minister Adrian Tutuianu has signed a letter of intent with Bell Helicopter to acquire AH-1Z Viper combat helicopter for the country’s armed forces.
For the planned procurement, funds will be provided from the €9.8 billion (U.S. $11.6 billion) package that the country’s cabinet aims to allocate to military acquisitions in the years 2017 to 2026.
The plan was approved earlier this week by the Romanian Supreme Council of National Defence.
The signing of the agreement will be followed by a thorough discussion between representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Bell Helicopter on the establishment of a joint venture, and a transfer of technology and know-how to allow the production of helicopters in Romania, the government announced this week.
Under the plan, the US Helicopter manufacturer aims to establish a joint venture with a subsidiary of the country’s defense group Romarm to produce copters in Romania. The designed plant is expected to produce AH-1Z Viper twin-engine attack helicopters.
Bell Helicopter agreed to this proposal, but that such a transfer of technology could only be carried out with the approval of the US government.
Romarm was set up in 2000 with the aim to consolidate the country’s fragmented defense industry. The group operates 15 subsidiaries in Romania, including production facilities and a research and development entity.