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UAE look to European helicopters

Abu Dhabi would like to reduce the contract amount, and also sees South Korean aircraft

The United Arab Emirates wants to review the purchase contract for the H-225M "Caracal" military helicopters. At the moment there is no meeting point between the Abu Dhabi government and the European manufacturer, which however considers the Arab customer strategic. Furthermore, in this stalemate situation, the Emirates have a plan B: they are negotiating the purchase of rotorcraft produced by the South Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI).

"It is necessary to maintain this strategic relationship with the United Arab Emirates, which we have known for over 40 years. We are in the discussion phase, to know how to respond to requests, in conditions that remain favorable for each party and to finalize the contract within its expiry. The Caracal contract is an opportunity, for them as for us, to reaffirm our partnership for years to come", said Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even.

For several months the United Arab Emirates has been exerting strong pressure on the European manufacturer to negotiate downwards the amount of the contract for the sale of the 12 helicopters. The value of the agreement in 2021 was estimated between 750 and 800 million euros. According to rumors filtered through the French media, Abu Dhabi now wants to reduce the amount of the contract to 620 million.

The "Caracal" helicopter is a military heavy tactical transport aircraft capable of carrying up to 26 people 1000 nautical miles. It made its first flight in November 2000 and went on sale in February 2005. It can be used in combat missions, SaR (Search and Rescue) and for the evacuation of the wounded.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency