Grand Prairie, TX – American Eurocopter LLC, a subsidiary of EADS North America, announced today that it has been awarded a contract with the Department of Homeland Security to provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection with additional AS350B3s. This contract is an Indefinite Quantity/ Indefinite Delivery contract with a base year and four-one year options. American Eurocopter expects orders of up to 50 additional AS350B3s to the U.S. CBP through the life of the contract. CBP already has an impressive Eurocopter fleet which includes 48 AS350s and 15 EC120s, with five additional EC120s on order. The contract has the potential to total over $ 150 million. U.S. Customs and Border Protection have requested an aggressive delivery schedule with an initial order of 17 AS350B3s. These aircraft will be produced at American Eurocopter’s Mississippi facility. The first helicopter is to be delivered in 2009 with a target delivery schedule of one AS350B3 every 45 days when rate production is achieved.
“We are extremely pleased to have been chosen to expand our longstanding relationship with the Department of Homeland Security,” said Marc Paganini, American Eurocopter President and CEO. “This award shows confidence in the performance and reliability of our AS350B3 and our company. We are proud to provide aircraft to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Army and other federal, state and local agencies tasked with protecting our country and its citizens.
”American Eurocopter’s Mississippi facility also is the production center for the U.S. Army’s UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). American Eurocopter is a principal subcontractor to EADS North America on the LUH program and produces the UH-72A at its new state-of-the-art, 320,000 sq. ft. production facility located at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport. Total staffing at the expandedproduction facility in Mississippi will surpass 200 later this year as UH-72A and other production increases to meet customer delivery requirements.
“EADS North America and American Eurocopter are committed to meeting – and exceeding – the mission requirements of those who protect America and ensure its national security,” said Ralph Crosby, Chairman and CEO of EADS North America. “American Eurocopter is a leading provider of highly capable helicopters that are integral to military and homeland security – as demonstrated by this significant award from the CBP, and the other U.S. customers it serves.
”The AS350 is a powerful and reliable aircraft that has established itself with its unmatched performance, extensive mission equipment options and the safety of its multiple-redundancy system design. With its unparalleled visibility and proven law enforcement integration, the AS350 family has established itself as the preferred platform for U.S. law enforcement agencies and has become an essential tool in the fight against crime.
"Mississippians are proud to be part a critical program that will provide an important system for our national defense, and we appreciate the partnership that has been created between our state and American Eurocopter and EADS North America,” said U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi. “The employees of American Eurocopter’s Golden Triangle facility have demonstrated their skill and ability to manufacture high quality aerospace products, and they have helped give our state a firmer foothold in the competitive international aerospace industry.
”“With today’s contract announcement Mississippi continues to expand its vital contribution to our nation’s security,” said Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker. “American Eurocopter’s continued growth will provide substantial economic benefit to Mississippians. This is certainly a win-win program for both the state and the nation.
”“The Golden Triangle region continues to grow as a national competitor for homeland security and defense sector development,” said Congressman Travis Childers, of Mississippi’s First Congressional District. “American Eurocopter is a company dedicated to the people of this region and they will continue to bring worldwide aerospace technology to benefit Mississippi’s economy and create high-paying jobs.
”The AS350 is in service with 75 agencies across the nation, including major federal operators such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). American Eurocopter rotary wing aircraft also are flown by the U.S. Coast Guard, state and local law enforcement agencies and emergency medical response units nationwide.
About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the American subsidiary of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and EADS North America, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Mississippi and its West Coast Regional Support Facility, in Long Beach, CA.
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