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Eurocopter keen on manufacturing copters in India

File photo of Cheetah in Saichen

NEW DELHI (PTI): European helicopter giant Eurocopter announced on Monday that it was ready to manufacture helicopters through a joint venture in India and supply them to a third country.

Addressing the media in the national capital, Eurocopter Vice-President (Asia-Pacific) Norbert Ducrot said that Eurocopter was ready to have a joint collaboration with India. He said that the firm has been in the field for the last four decades and plans to market the jointly produced copters to a third country.

Eurocopter, which is a part of the French-German defence group EADS, said it is ready to share the technology with India about helicopters that would be sold in the country. “We want to have a win-win situation for India,” Ducrot said.

Citing the example of NH-90 helicopter produced by NATO countries, he said it was a success story. “We want to apply the same in India also. If India wants to become a key player in the 21st century's aero-space, it needs to tie up as a partner of global consortia,” he said.

He said Eurocopter was already a part of Hindustan Aeronautic Limited's programme as they were jointly taking care of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters flying in high altitude Siachen glaciers.

“We would like to be associated with HAL's programme for manufacturing light helicopters and other things,” the senior Eurocopter official said. Asked what it would be presenting before the Defence Ministry for attack helicopters, Ducrot said it would put on trial its Tiger helicopter for reconnaissance, observation and surveillance.

The Tiger, which has fighting capabilities during night also, was designed for various missions like reconnaissance, escort, air-to-air combat, ground firing support and anti-tank warfare.

This chopper could be fitted with roof-mounted sight and nose-mounted turret guns, besides 68MM and 70MM rockets and Hellfire anti-tank and air-to-air missiles.

The Eurocopter has been involved with Indian Army and the Air Force for several decades now, with its Chetaks and Cheetahs flying in several areas, particularly in high mountainous terrains.

These choppers are the mainstay of the forces situated in the high altitude areas, including Siachen, both for supplies and transportation.

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