Posted December. 14, 2005 06:15,
Eurocopter, a joint venture between France and Germany, has been designated as an overseas partner for the Korean Helicopter Program (KHP), worth 5.4 trillion won.
Park Sung-kuk, KHP director, on December 13 said, At the deliberation roundtable on the acquisition development held on December 12, Eurocopter was finally selected as a major partner to participate in the KHP.
So far, some weaponry such as portable ground-to-air missiles have been introduced from Europe, but this is the first time that a European company was chosen over an American one for a national project worth trillions of won.
For the KHP project, Eurocopter, Bell of the U.S., and IWIL, a U.K.-Italy joint venture, were the three companies which submitted proposals. Among them, Bell gave up in the valuation process, and IWIL requested a monopoly. Thus, the Ministry of Defense negotiated with Eurocopter on four occasions, according to Park.
As such, Eurocopter is planning to sign a contract with the Korean government soon, and from next year it will provide core component-related technologies in association with 18 domestic companies, such as wing motors and engines needed to develop Korean helicopters.
An official at the KHP project team said, After signing an R&D contract with Eurocopter, we will see how it goes with the transfer of technologies and will sign a contract on mass production, adding, Eurocopters core technologies will be transferred and localized up to 60 percent.