EC725 Helis Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defense signed a letter of intent to acquire 20 Eurocopter EC725 Cougar helicopters during the May KADEX-2012 military exposition in Astana. Kazakhstan joins France, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Mexico as customers, and the contract includes in-country assembly by the Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering 50/50 joint venture at Astana.
Cost was not announced, but Brazil’s deal was around EUR 1.85 billion for 50 helicopters assembled in-country, while Mexico paid around EUR 168 million for 6 delivered machines. EUR 650 – 750 million would be a reasonable estimate range for 20 machines.
Kazakhstan was already a strong Eurocopter customer. Its government VIP transport helicopter is the Cougar’s EC225 civil counterpart, and the country has an agreement to buy up to 45 EC145 helicopters for a variety of government roles. Eurocopter was also touting its Tiger attack helicopter at KADEX-2012, but that hasn’t turned into anything yet. We’d make a Borat reference here, but Kazakhstan would hate us.