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The Royal Malaysian Air Force's first EC725 helicopter is unveiled at the LIMA 2011 exhibition in a live video broadcast from Eurocopter's French headquarters

(PresseBox) (Langkawi, Malaysia, ) The production roll-out of Eurocopter's no. 1 EC725 helicopter for the Royal Malaysian Air Force was shown today with a live video broadcast from the company's Marignane, France facility, which was beamed to the Langkawi Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) for an audience that included Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Defense Minister Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

It is the first of 12 EC725s to be acquired by Malaysia for search & rescue and utility missions under terms of a contract signed in 2010. Eurocopter remains on schedule for this important acquisition program, with a total of eight helicopters already in production - and the no. 1 aircraft soon to enter flight testing. The Malaysian EC725 deliveries will begin next year and continue through early 2014.

"We wanted to share this on-time milestone with Malaysia, providing attendees at LIMA 2011 with an initial look at the newest helicopter that will serve the country in a variety of operations," said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling. "The top priority at Eurocopter is meeting its commitments to customers, and Malaysia can count on our company's dedication in delivering helicopters that fulfill the nation's mission requirements."

In today's roll-out broadcast from Eurocopter's Marignane headquarters and production site, the no. 1 EC725 was presented by the Royal Malaysian Air Force's on-site project team, led by Col. Tuan Mustafa.

Expressing his appreciation to Eurocopter, Defense Minister Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said, "This is a highly appreciated gesture on the part of Eurocopter. We have full confidence that all 12 helicopters will be delivered on time. The EC725 fleet represents a significant step towards strengthening the Royal Malaysian Air Force's capability. In addition, cooperation projects related to the supply of the EC725s also are moving along smoothly, ensuring that Malaysia's aviation industry is developing with the right skills and knowledge."

As part of the EC725 contract, an agreement for 13 strategic cooperation projects was signed - including the integration of Malaysian industry into Eurocopter's global supply chain, and the development of joint ventures with local companies to establish an in-country MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facility, a regional EC725/EC225 full-flight simulator center, and other capabilities. The MRO and flight simulator installations are being created together with the Boustead Group, and all 13 cooperative projects will be aligned with Malaysia's goals of enhancing its industrial capabilities and economic strength through technology transfer and strategic partnerships.

To support the deliveries of Malaysia's new EC725s and enhance Eurocopter's in-country support and services activities, the company's Eurocopter Malaysia subsidiary will be moving in July 2012 from its main facility in Subang to a new, expanded site within the Malaysian International Aerospace Center - doubling its capacity.

About Eurocopter Malaysia

Eurocopter Malaysia was incorporated in 2002, and is the only helicopter manufacturer with a comprehensive network of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service centers in Malaysia. With a workforce of 120 employees and a presence in Subang, Miri and Kerteh, it provides a broad spectrum of services, ranging from scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, aircraft modification (retrofit, painting, interior refurbishment and customization), as well logistics support (spare parts, repairs and overhaul). Eurocopter Malaysia backs its support offer with its inventory, 24-hour service, highly skilled workers and efficient logistic services. It has in its stable some 20 local small and medium enterprises as its vendors or partners. The company also is an authorized training center, providing a range of services for customers from standard training to customized courses.


Airbus Helicopters

Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 17,500 people. In 2010, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's number one helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market with a turnover of 4.8 billion Euros, orders for 346 new helicopters and a 49 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group's helicopters account for 33 percent of the total worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter's strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 30 subsidiaries and participations on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. There are currently 11,360 Eurocopter helicopters in service and some 2,900 customers in 149 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.