Bell Helicopter announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Romanian aerospace manufacturer, IAR - Ghimbav Brasov Group, for the potential collaboration on AH-1Z attack helicopter.

IAR - Ghimbav Brasov specializes in aeronautical structures and electrical work, with a special emphasis on MRO capabilities for helicopters. The company has been in operation for more than eight decades and is well positioned to provide support for the AH-1Z “Viper” attack helicopter should it be purchased by the Romanian government.

Lisa Atherton, Bell Helicopter executive vice president of Military Business, said: “The potential for the AH-1Z Viper in Romania is exciting, and the AH-1Z should be a very strong candidate in addressing the Romanian government’s need for an advanced, reliable platform for security and defense.”

NATO guidelines published in 2015 encourage member nations to dedicate 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) for defense spending. The goal is to modernize equipment and enhance capabilities in order to more effectively contribute to the national and regional defense.

Bell Helicopter has unveiled the Bell V-247 Vigilant tiltrotor, an unmanned aerial system (UAS) which combines the vertical lift capability of a helicopter with the speed and range of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft. 

The government of Romania continues to commit funding and resources to help meet the NATO threshold, and expect to exceed their current 1.7% defense spending level in the coming years.

The AH-1Z Viper is the most advanced anti-tank attack helicopter in Bell‘s production.  It is designed in partnership with the United States Marine Corps. Bell said that the Viper has a combat radius greater than 240km when carrying 16 Hellfire missiles, 2 AIM-9’s, and 650 20mm rounds.