Romania Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Bell Helicopter to acquire attack helicopters for the country's armed forces.
The LoI was signed following discussions with Bell Helicopter representatives, and relates to the pricing and availability for the acquisition of attack helicopters.
The final purchase decision will be based on the procurement plan, which was recently approved by the Supreme Council for National Defence.
Further talks are scheduled to be held regarding Bell Helicopter’s plans to establish a joint venture (JV) with a subsidiary of Romarm to manufacture the attack helicopters for the Romanian Army.
Tutuianu noted that the proposed JV, along with the transfer of expertise and technology, will allow the production of the helicopters in Romania. The initiative will require approval from the US Government.
The JV is expected to facilitate production of the AH-1Z Viper twin-engine attack helicopter, DefenseNews reported.
Romanian National News Agency AGERPRES quoted Tutuianu as saying: "We discussed the creation of a joint venture in Romania with Bell Helicopter and Romarm, through one of its subsidiaries, a company that would make the technology transfer and manufacture these helicopters necessary for the endowment of the Romanian Army.
“The partners from Bell Helicopter agreed to this proposal, we are going to negotiate technical and legal issues.”
Romania previously committed to spend €9.8bn on defence related activities earlier this month, according to media sources.
Bell’s AH-1Z aircraft is equipped with virtually identical front and rear glass cockpits, fully integrated weapons, avionics and communications systems.
The helicopter is capable of carrying advanced aircraft weapons and survivability equipment, and features a fully integrated air-to-air missile capability and a target sight system.
Image: Romania Prime Minister Mihai Tudose along with National Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu held discussions with representatives of Bell Helicopter. Photo: courtesy of the Romanian Government.