British multinational aerospace supplier GKN Aerospace and French-based helicopter manufacturing division Airbus Helicopters have signed a memorandum of understanding for engineering and manufacturing support.
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The MOU follows recent pre-selection of 14 Airbus “Super Puma/Cougar” H225M helicopters for special operations by the Netherlands Ministry of Defence.
GKN Aerospace will provide engineering, electrical wiring interconnections systems design, and manufacturing support, as well as maintenance, repair, and overhaul activities. It will also assist composite structures and aerostructures design and manufacturing.
The two companies have previously collaborated as partners in NHIndustries, the NH90 manufacturing consortium together with Italian multinational Leonardo.
GKN Aerospace defence airframe president Shawn Black, who attended the MOD signing ceremony with Dutch military leadership, said the signing of the MOU represents a significant milestone in collaboration.
“We have been working closely with Airbus Helicopters as partners on the NH90 program since 1992 and have actively supported them during the pre-selection phase with the Dutch MOD,” he said.
“(The MOU signing reinforces) our partnership and setting the stage for future industrial participation.
“With our combined expertise and unwavering commitment, we will deliver advanced solutions and provide exceptional support to the Netherlands’ helicopter fleet.”
H225M helicopters are currently with or have seen service with France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Singapore, Hungary, and Thailand for special operations, combat search and rescue, tactical transport, and medical evacuation.
The twin-engine, five-blade rotor multi-role helicopter has all-weather capability, night vision support, and a 700 nautical mile range which can be extended with air-to-air or hover in-flight refuelling capabilities.