Eurocopter Challenges to Gain Leading Position in Military Market in Japan
To enter this market, Eurocopter presents 2 helicopters perfectly well-adapted for the Japanese authorities: the NH90 military helicopter for defence and parapublic operations and the EC135 for advanced training missions.
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The NH90, which is the world's most advanced multi-role helicopter in the ten-ton class, is the sole fly-by-wire helicopter available on the market today, together with all composite construction and the highest crash-worthiness standards. The NH90 is the biggest military helicopter programme ever launched in Europe with an unparalleled success - a total of 507 helicopters on order by 14 nations - proof that its concept and design are well-adapted to the 21st century.
With similar defence concerns as Australia, who ordered 46 MRH90s (the Australian variant of the NH90), mission requirements in Japan will range from search and rescue, troop transport, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance to maritime and aviation security.
The EC135, a modern light twin-engine helicopter equipped with a glass cockpit, is well-tailored for advanced training missions, and therefore perfectly adapted for air crew from defence forces operating new generation multi-role or combat helicopters, such as Japan.
12 years after making its debut in the market in mid-1996, more than 700 EC135 helicopters have been delivered to 160 clients in 40 countries worldwide for missions ranging from pilot training, law enforcement to Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/Search and Rescue (SAR). The EC135 presented on Eurocopter's booth is in the EMS configuration, more commonly known in Japan as Doctor Heli.
In Japan, Eurocopter is represented by its local subsidiary Eurocopter Japan and its distributor EuroHeli, which provides the support of the entire fleet of helicopters flying throughout the country. The fleet in Japan is the largest in Australasia belonging to a wide variety of customers, such as the Japan Coast guards, police forces, fire brigades, TV stations/press as well as corporate and private customers. Helicopters play a particularly important role in the news gathering segment. Almost a third of the Eurocopter fleet in Japan flies for the various TV stations, accounting for 76% of this market.
In terms of partnership programs in the country, Eurocopter has been cooperating for the past 30 years with Kawasaki Heavy Industries for the development and manufacturing of the airframe and transmission kit on the BK117 and EC145, selected by the US Army in 2006 as its new-generation Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) with an order of up to 352 aircraft.
Source : Eurocopter