Korea: cooperation in full swing

On 18 October 2007, Eurocopter and Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU is a measure of the trust between the two partners and reflects the progress made by the KUH (Korean Utility Helicopter) programme. The MOU creates a joint venture company between Eurocopter and KAI, and heralds a new phase in the cooperation with Korea.


 Moon So-Lim
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The KUH will be exclusively marketed on the export market by a joint venture company that will enable Eurocopter to position itself in a market segment where it currently does not have a helicopter.

The MOU was signed 15 months after the initial contractual agreement, and this period has mainly been devoted to defining the helicopter that the Koreans aim to develop. The Korean Army has already selected this helicopter, which will be manufactured according to the terms of a future production contract (the current contract only covers the development). An objective for export sales has also been set. Following several months of discussion, the Program Management Office (the equivalent of the French General Delegation for Armaments or DGA) held a meeting in June 2007 with KAI (the sole aircraft system integrator). Eurocopter formulated its recommendations in order to optimise the proposed configuration and an agreement was signed with KAI in July 2007. In return, the KUH will be exclusively marketed on the export market by a joint venture company that will give Eurocopter an 7.4-metricton aircraft on a market segment where it currently does not have a helicopter. This agreement has led the two companies to implement the joint venture company in more concrete terms via the MOU signed on 18 October 2007 during the Seoul Air Show. In the wake of this MOU, two parallel activities will be carried out: firstly, Eurocopter will continue to work with KAI on the development of the aircraft for another five years or so, aiming to achieve positive and effective results in line with the set programme objectives; and, secondly, the modalities will be defined for setting up a working group to draw up the articles of association, management structure and operating strategy for the joint venture company.



_ AUTHOR: CHRISTIAN DA SILVA