Romania Negotiating AH-1Z Purchase and Local Production

A US Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper assigned to VMM-265 (Reinforced) takes off from the USS Bonhomme Richard on July 7, 2017, during Exercise Talisman Saber. Romania is moving forward with plans to acquire the type and also assemble it locally. US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary DiPadova

ROMANIAN DEFENCE Minister Adrian Tutuianu signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Bell Helicopter on August 3 seeking prices and availability for the acquisition of attack helicopters.  Signature of the LOI, addressed to the US Government, followed discussions between the Defence Minister, Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, Minister of Economy Mihai Fifor, Chief of General Staff General Nicolae Ciuca and Chief of Air Force Staff Lieutenant-General Laurian Anastasof with representatives of Bell Helicopter earlier the same day at Government House.

These talks had been preceded by a technical discussion at the Ministry of National Defence.  Further ahead, talks will be held between representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Bell Helicopter regarding the setting up of a joint venture with a subsidiary of Romarm, the state-owned defence group.  These discussions will also include proposals for technology transfer and provision of the required know-how for planned local production of helicopters in Romania.

The advancement of plans to acquire attack helicopters has been enabled following approval earlier in the week of a 9.8 billion euro defence procurement plan for the next decade by the Supreme Council for National Defence.  Although the Romanian Government announcement of the attack helicopter proposals did not specify the type, it is expected to be the AH-1Z Viper.