Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) signed three agreements last week that could help the state-owned company boost its falling production rates and sustain operations over the next few years.

Two of the deals are with EADS subsidiaries Casa and Eurocopter. The agreement with Casa confirms the shift of the C-212-400 assembly line to IAe's Bandung facility from Spain, making production of the turboprop more cost-competitive. IAe will also market the aircraft to Asian countries.

"This rejuvenates our production line, given that the life span of the aircraft is around 20 years and we expect healthy demand," says IAe. "We have several potential customers in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and South Korea. There is also potential demand from the Indonesian navy."

IAe and Eurocopter will co-operate in several forthcoming Indonesian government contests, with a view to joint production and marketing of the aircraft. The companies plan to offer the AS365 Dauphin for the navy's anti-submarine requirement and the police's patrol needs, as well as the EC120 for the army's training helicopter tender. Indonesia, hit by a series of natural disasters in recent years, also seeks helicopters for transport, search and rescue, and reconnaissance missions for its disaster relief agencies.

The final agreement was with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for a joint production facility in Bandung. Indonesia bought seven KT-1 trainers from KAI in April 2003, and agreed to buy another 12 and spare parts in 2006. KAI is also trying to sell its KO-1 advanced trainers to the Indonesian air force. The aircraft will be reassembled in Bandung, where they will also be maintained.

The agreements are a boost for IAe, which stopped selling the NC212 in 2003. Production of the CN-235, co-developed with Casa, has been at low levels. The company has also licence-produced the C-212-200, Eurocopter BO105 and NAS332, as well as the Bell 412.

Source: Flight International