MARIGNANE, France, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Kazakhstan has received the first of six Eurocopter EC145s ordered by the Kazakh Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Emergencies.
Eurocopter, which has headquarters in France, said 45 of the helicopters will be purchased by Kazakhstan and will be assembled in the country by Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering, a new joint venture.
The venture will "enable Eurocopter to provide its customers in Kazakhstan and Central Asia with better local services for helicopter maintenance as well as training for pilots and technicians," Eurocopter said.
The remaining five helicopters of the initial order will be delivered to Kazakhstan before the end of the year and will be used for search-and-rescue and medical evacuation, Eurocopter said. The rest ordered will be delivered by the end of 2016.
The delivery of the first EC145 is very symbolic as it marks the beginning of operations as part of our cooperation with Kazakhstan Engineering," said Olivier Michalon, Global Business and Services vice president for Europe and Central Asia.
"We are very proud to be part of the Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering joint venture, as it will enable us to deploy major industrial capacities in the Kazakh aviation industry and lay the groundwork for the development of a new, highly specialized sector in the country.
"We are also convinced that the new joint venture will place Eurocopter in an excellent position for future development locally, as we are poised to provide operators with helicopters that are particularly well suited for the oil and gas industry and para-public missions."
The EC145 is a twin-engine, medium-lift aircraft. It is certified for flight at temperatures as low as minus 49 degrees Fahrenheit, making it particularly well suited for the harsh weather conditions often encountered in Kazakhstan.