BUCHAREST --- Airbus Helicopters on Tuesday opened a new factory in central Romania to manufacture the twin-engine H215 helicopter.
"The first H215 helicopter 100 percent made in Romania should be out the assembly line in 2018," announced Airbus Helicopters Industries CEO Serge Durand.
France's Airbus investment puts Romania on the world map of helicopter manufacturers, said Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos who presided over the opening ceremony together with visiting French President Francois Hollande.
According to Ciolos, the helicopters in Romania will be built from scratch, with some of the parts brought from France and some provided by Romania.
The Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Defence might purchase H215 helicopters to be manufactured in the country, he added.
"This is a French-Romanian project, a European project, and I want to congratulate our German colleagues as well who are sharing in our ambition here of providing helicopters for military and civilian purposes," said Hollande.
The Airbus Helicopters factory, with an investment worth 52 million euros (58.33 million U.S. dollars), is located at Ghimbav in central Romania. It covers an area of 10,000 square metres.