Airbus Helicopters and China’s Avicopter have signed a 20 year joint production agreement that should see 1,000 EC175/AC352 helicopters built.
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Avicopter is the helicopters business unit of AVIC of China. The joint agreement for the production of these aircraft was signed in the presence of the Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President François Hollande at the Elysée Palace in Paris.
Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, said: “Today’s agreement results from several years of close collaboration between our teams. It sets the stage for an unprecedented full-scale production framework by both partners and adds a new dimension to the relationship with Avicopter.”
“The production contract’s signature will allow both of us to satisfy the Chinese and worldwide market needs in the medium helicopter segment,” added Li Fangyong, AVIC executive vice president. “This also puts Avicopter’s production resources to work in the aviation industry’s global industrial chain.”
While development work has been equally shared between the companies for the EC175/AC352 project, production is likewise shared.
Coming from a common platform, two different helicopters are being built: the AC352, assembled and supported from China by Avicopter, mainly for the Chinese market; and the EC175, assembled and supported by Airbus Helicopters from Marignane, France, for the worldwide market.
France and China launched their cooperation on EC175/AC352 helicopter in 2005.