Romania’s defence ministry has signed a letter of intent on price and availability regarding the acquisition of attack helicopters from US manufacturer Bell Helicopter, the Romanian government said on Thursday.
The letter of intent will be addressed to the US government.
Under the plan, the U.S. manufacturer is to establish a joint venture with a subsidiary of the country’s state-owned defense group Romarm to produce copters in Romania. The designed plant is expected to produce AH-1Z Viper twin-engine attack helicopters. The value of the planned contract was not disclosed. That was reported by defensenews.com.
“This decision will have a considerable direct impact on the economic development of our country, being at the same time a generator of security in the area,” the government said.
The intention to purchase attack helicopters is based on the arms procurement plan recently approved by Romania’s Supreme Council of National Defence, CSAT.
The AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter entered service with the United States Marine Corps in 2011. It is currently operated in some of the world’s harshest conditions and is environmentally hardened to resist severe weather conditions. The AH-1Z Viper shares 85% commonality of major components with Bell Helicopter’s UH-1Y Venom utility rotorcraft, enhancing deployability and maintainability, while reducing training requirements and the logistical footprint between the two platforms and ultimately lowering total life cycle costs in terms of acquisition, operations, maintenance and support.
The AH-1Z is equipped with the most accurate, longest range helicopter sight available. The Viper’s Targeting Sight System (TSS) from Lockheed Martin provides a crucial advantage by allowing the pilot to positively identify and track multiple enemy targets at ranges beyond the maximum range of its weapons system in order to acquire and destroy enemy targets.