Press Release


Nine EC 635 Helicopters for the Portuguese Army, start-up Customer.

Marignane, 22.10.1999

Nine EC 635 Helicopters for the Portuguese Army, start-up Customer.

At the Defense Department in Lisbon, General Rivera, Director General of Armament and Defense Equipment, and Dr. Siegfried Sobotta, Co-Chairman of the Eurocopter Group, signed (in the presence of the Portuguese Minister of Defense Jaime Gama) a contract worth 35 million Euros. The contract calls for nine EC 635 helicopters to be supplied to the Portuguese Army.

This contract signals the first commercial success for the EC 635, which is the military version of the EC 135 twin-engine helicopter. This makes the Portuguese Army the EC 635 start-up customer.

The nine helicopters will be used for fire support, medical evacuations, and to help civilian populations in emergency situations.

This contract is part of a broader plan to create an Army Air Corps in Portugal. Eurocopter, along with the French and German armies, will provide specialized assistance in the Army Air Corps project.

The first deliveries will be made in the year 2001, and will be completed within 9 months.


The Eurocopter group will provide a 150 % offset as part of the contract. The Portuguese aeronautics and defense industries will be the biggest beneficiaries, and will play major roles in the program. Cooperation between the three countries' (Portugal, Germany, France) aeronautics and defense industries will thus be reinforced.

In the 1960's, The Portuguese Air Force acquired a fleet of Alouette III and Puma helicopters, and was the Puma's first export client. These contracts were the basis of a long-standing cooperative effort between Eurocopter and Portuguese industries, such as OGMA, which has become an important site for assembly, maintenance, and modernizing for this class of helicopter.

This contract is yet further proof of the confidence that the Portuguese Defense Department has in the Franco-German company's helicopters, and of the excellent relationship existing between the three countries.

It should be noted that two types of powerplants are available for the EC 635. The Portuguese have chosen the Arrius 2B1, manufactured by Turbomeca (the other available option is the Pratt and Whitney PW206B). Each engine develops a power of 590 kW (791 shp), and the maximum take-off weight of the EC 635 is 2,835 kg.

For further information, please contact :

Jean-Louis Espes (in France)

Tel: (+33) 4 42 85 95 55
Fax: (+33) 4 42 85 95 64
Christina Gotzhein (in Germany)

Tel: (+49 89) 6000 6488
Fax: (+49 89) 6000 4437

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