Eurocopter and US-based unmanned air system manufacturer AeroVironment have signed a “cooperative agreement” that the companies say may help them expand their respective military and commercial portfolios.

The agreement will allow the companies to “explore expanding into new markets and developing new capabilities to meet future customer needs,” AeroVironment says.

“This cooperation will be particularly valuable as Eurocopter defines its unmanned product strategy, building on the success of our first unmanned flights with the EC145 helicopter this year,” says Clive Schley, senior vice president of strategy and company development for Eurocopter.

The companies provided little additional information, and AeroVironment – which has made some 20,000 UAVs for customers including the US Army and US Marine Corps – declined to comment further. Eurocopter did not respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this year Eurocopter unveiled an optionally piloted version of its EC145 medium twin helicopter, which it says is suitable for both civil and military missions.