Mexico is to acquire six Eurocopter EC725s for transport and security missions.

The deal was announced by Mexico's defence department on 9 March during a visit to the country by French president Nikolas Sarkozy. The helicopters will be used to support Mexico's intensifying battle against drug cartels.

Eurocopter already has a large presence in Mexico City, where the manufacturer reassembles, customises and maintains helicopters for customers in Mexico, Central America and the northern part of South America. The company, which has previously sold aircraft to the Mexican government for VIP transport and naval missions, is now looking at expanding its operation in the country to also include the production of helicopter parts.

Establishing helicopter manufacturing capabilities in Mexico was discussed by Sarkozy during his meetings with Mexican president Felipe Calderon and more details are expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks. Several European aerospace manufacturers have set up plants in Mexico in recent years, and France's Safran last month committed to opening new factories to manufacture engine and landing gear parts.

Eurocopter EC725 
 © Patrick Penna/Eurocopter

Source: Flight International