>>> Americans, Germans and the French to fight for billions of euros made available by the Government of Bucharest for the endowment of the Romanian Army
By Edwig Ban
The allocation of 2% of GDP over the past two years to the Ministry of National Defense's expenditures has created a real "contest" between US, German and French concerts to capture the Romanian armaments market. While the Americans are deluding us with the Strategic Partnership and the latest technology, the Europeans show us the cheek and tell us that we are members of the EU and we must respect the tradition.
Neither one nor the other tell the truth. They just want to keep us faithful to capture our billions of euros.
A distinction can be made by Airbus, who speaks openly about the compliance of the offset obligation, that is, the involvement of the Romanian industry in the manufacture of military equipment and equipment.
In an interview with Mediafax, Serge Durand, head of Airbus operations in Romania, insisted on the need for the Bucharest authorities to promote more European investment in the arms industry. "Romania can not afford to spend billions of euros on defense purchases without benefiting from industrial cooperation," says Serge Durand.
Regarding the collaboration between Airbus and Romania, Durand believes that the Government of Bucharest should take a decision in the shortest time to guarantee the future of the industrial cooperation between the two parties.
"Romania, which has long used Airbus licensed Puma helicopters, has reached the point where it needs to renew its outdated fleet. We are convinced that the H215M is the right choice for the urgent challenges that Romania needs to face, because the H215M is the natural successor of the Puma helicopters, operational in Duranges in the 1970s.
Airbus and Romania have industrial cooperation with tradition, and Airbus is committed to further developing this cooperation. Over the past 10 years, more than 75% of Airbus Helicopters Romania's activity has been export activities, thus contributing to a significant increase in Romania's GDP and opening up prospects for the next 50 years.
Airbus Helicopters Romania - AHRO - is a joint venture between IAR - the Romanian Aeronautical Industry (founded in 1925 as a joint venture with Bleriot-Spad and Lorraine-Dietrich French groups), 51% Airbus, 49% IAR, with majority state-owned capital. In 2017, Airbus signed with IAR an exclusive collaboration agreement for 15 years with regard to the delivery of H215M helicopters to the Romanian Defense Ministry.
"AHRO currently has 480 employees and continues to grow, because we are investing to make AHRO our global center of excellence for maintenance, repair and upgrading," says Serge Durand.
Airbus is present in Romania and through the Premium Air Aerotec factory in Ghimbav/Brasov, which employs about 1,000 employees and exports 100% of the production of aircraft components. Airbus is heavily involved with Romania and awaits the launch of the H215M production at the new Ghimbav plant, provided Romania has a minimum of 16 helicopters.
"Speaking of the future, I would also like to say that Airbus is investing in the young generation, which is why we are partners with the Transylvania College in Brasov. We have nearly 100 students studying aeronautics and benefit from Airbus support for specialized subjects and practical support elements such as helicopter structure and tools. We also focus on our own employees, which we train in Marignane, France, to meet the latest industry requirements. Last but not least, we are striving to join forces with relevant industry players and have initiated the Romanian Helicopter Industry Association with partners such as IAR, Aerostar, Aeroteh, Turbomecanica, Aerofina, Comoti to revitalize this strategic sector, "Serge says Durand. "What I mean is that while others have been promising to open production units in Romania, we have been here for decades for solid industrial cooperation through investments to educate the new generation of helicopter technicians "Said Serge Durand.
The Airbus representative shows that the Airbus Group has excellent relations with the Romanian authorities. A partnership with the Romanian State is in force because Airbus Helicopters Romania (AHRO) was established in 2002, along with IAR, a state-owned company. There is also a good dialogue with experts from the Ministry of Defense, and together with IAR are looking for answers to the requirements of the Romanian Air Force, which is also confirmed by the fact that the Puma helicopters are still operational today. Airbus is a trusted partner of both the Romanian State and the private sector, thanks to the long-term business relationship we have with our suppliers.
"Romania is Europe and is part of the single market, so we do business in a well-regulated economic space. Another advantage is that you are a country with a solid industrial tradition, that is why we find a competent, competent professional force. On the other hand, Romania can not afford to spend billions of euros on defense purchases without benefiting from industrial cooperation. We, as Europeans, have demonstrated through our presence in Romania that we appreciate cooperation. The military acquisitions must be transparent on the basis of honest competition and, if done through intergovernmental contracts (G2G), be completely transparent in terms of price and include offset obligations, "said Serge Durand.