Airbus Helicopters and IAR deepen strategic partnership on H215M with 15-year agreement

A Romanian built H215M produced under license from Romania's IAR. Photo by Anthony Pecchi Airbus Helicopters

The agreement between Airbus Helicopters and IAR was signed in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis

Airbus Helicopters and IAR, a Romanian Aerospace manufacturer, announced today through a press release that the two entities decided to extend their exclusive cooperation on the H215M multi-role helicopter. Detailed in terms of the agreement, IAR will become the primary contractor for the H215M for future orders made by the Romanian Ministry of Defense as they replace the countries ageing helicopter fleet. The deal initially entered into by the two companies covered cooperation for a period of f five years, which will now be covered in the new agreement to extend to a total cooperation period of fifteen years. In comments released on the cooperative agreement, Airbus stated that the new agreement further demonstrates the commitment of Airbus Helicopters and IAR to jointly contribute to the modernization of Romanian Armed Forces helicopters used in military multi-role capacity for long term usage.

The announcement was made during French President Emmanuel Macron’s official visit to Bucharest that was also attended by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

“We are proud to have extended this agreement as a result of a long term trust between IAR and Airbus Helicopters” said Neculai Banea, General Director of IAR. “IAR has built over 360 helicopters under Airbus Helicopters’ license over the past decades, which makes us confident in the future success of the H215M” he added. 

Under the newly revised agreement, IAR will be the prime contractor for all future H215M orders placed by the Romanian Ministry of Defense and also covers cooperation between Airbus Helicopters and IAR on production, assembly, customization, support and maintenance of  H215M helicopters destined for service with the Romanian Armed Forces and potential export opportunities.

“This 15-year agreement puts IAR and Airbus Helicopters in the best position to meet the future needs of the Romanian Armed Forces as they look at renewing their fleets of medium and heavy multirole helicopters” said Olivier Michalon, Airbus Helicopters Senior Vice President, Head of Europe region. “Our goal of delivering superior value for our Romanian customers by offering the most complete line of products and services underlines Airbus’ unfaltering commitment to Romania. Each major Airbus business unit contributes directly to the strengthening of the European defence industrial base. Today Airbus already accounts for over 5,000 direct and indirect jobs in Romania, through its divisions,  Helicopters and Defence and Space, Commercial Airplanes with Premium Aerotec, as well as industrial partners like Aerostar, Turbomecanica, Aeroteh, Aerofina, etc., making the company the largest aerospace investor in the country,” he added.

Airbus Helicopters has been present in Romania for over fifteen years through its customer center, Airbus Helicopters Romania. The Romanian subsidiary attributing 75 percent of its annual work to export contracts. Airbus’ Helicopters Romanian subsidiary, Airbus Helicopters Industries, operates from a 10,000 square foot facility based in Brasov, Romania. The facility, inaugurated in 2016, will house all future production and maintenance work of the Romanian built versions of the H215.


IAR Brasov is a majority state-owned company; it is a Romanian national leader in aeronautics, specialized in helicopter manufacturing and maintenance. In 2016, it generated revenues of € 34 million and employed a workforce of around 316. IAR Brasov offers a wide range of services for the Romanian army as well as for international customers. Such services consist mainly of maintenance, repair and upgrade of military helicopters and supply of spare parts.   

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