Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today a signed Framework Agreement with Shaanxi Aviation Industry Development Co. Ltd. (SAIDC), a subsidiary of Shaanxi Energy Group, and Xi’an Helicopter Company Ltd. (XHC) pursuant to which Bell will work with SAIDC and XHC in their establishment of a company for the assembly and resale of Bell 407GXP helicopters to government and government-related customers in China. The agreement also provides for collaboration to develop in-country maintenance, training and customer support capabilities. As a part of this Framework Agreement, the parties have agreed to negotiate a five-year purchase agreement for the purchase by the new company of 100 Bell 407GXP helicopters focused on several missions, including Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (“HEMS”) and law enforcement missions in China.
During a special signing ceremony at Airshow China, Patrick Moulay, Bell Helicopter’s executive vice president of Global Commercial Sales and Marketing was joined by Mr. Feng Jiang, vice governor of Shaanxi Province, Mr. Xiaoning Yuan, president, Shaanxi Energy Group, David Rank, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Beijing, Rachael Bedlington, Consul General, Canadian Consulate General Guangzhou, and Mr. Yongan Wang, general manager, SAIDC, and Mr. Huaihe Sun, President, XHC, among other distinguished guests.
“Bell Helicopter is pleased to have established a significant relationship in China that is intended to develop a wide range of capabilities from assembly to comprehensive customer support,” said Patrick Moulay. “As a reliable and multi-use aircraft, there continues to be strong demand for the Bell 407GXP in China and around the globe, and we are proud to see such significant trust in this helicopter.”
Under the Framework Agreement, the companies will work collaboratively to develop assembly and support capabilities for the Bell 407GXP in Xi’an, China. The Bell 407 is the helicopter of choice in China, and there are currently more than 45 Bell 407s operating for multi-mission use throughout the region.
The President of Shaanxi Energy Group, Mr. Xiaoning Yuan said, “We are very optimistic to establish the cooperation with Bell Helicopter, which has 80 years’ experience of manufacturing helicopters. The cooperation will bring advanced technology and vitality to our helicopter market and improve the service quality of the helicopter industry in China. We believe that Bell 407GXP’s performance, safety characteristics and operating economics makes it the right helicopter for Chinese market.”
President of XHC, Mr. Huihe Sun, said, “To enhance people’s happiness is the direction of our efforts, Xi’an Helicopter is committed to building a nationwide emergency medical services network as part of the China rescue system, with support and resources from different sectors, and to achieve an ultimate goal to earn time for saving people’s lives.
SAIDC is located in Xi’an city, Shaanxi province, founded in June, 2014. SAIDC is a platform of aviation industry and investment and financing for Shaanxi provincial government to participate in national aviation industry projects and to facilitate the local aviation industry development.
Xi’an Helicopter is a general aviation company specialized in technology innovation. It has started a routine HEMS business since 2014 and has gained rich experience in this area so far. In recent years, its business scope has expanded to forest fire fighting, power line and petrol pipeline inspection, and has had many great achievements. The self-developed Beidou General Aviation Surveillance System, which provides a good solution for general aviation surveillance and monitor, is being promoted for use in GA by CAAC.
The Bell 407GXP, launched in 2015, is an upgrade to the Bell 407 product line that provides an additional 50 lbs. (22.5 kg) of payload capability, coupled with a new M250 Rolls-Royce engine that improves performance and fuel efficiency delivering class-leading hot and high performance. The Bell 407GXP is also equipped with new avionics features such as hover performance calculator improvement, as well as transmission TBO extension of +500 hours that will lower maintenance costs.
Bell Helicopter provides its customers with local support in every corner of the world and has the largest support network in the industry with over one hundred Authorized Customer Service Facilities in thirty four countries. Ranked number one by customers for 22 consecutive years in the Helicopter Product Support Survey from Professional Pilot Magazine, Bell Helicopter has also earned top honors in Vertical Magazine’s first-ever comprehensive helicopter manufacturer’s survey. Bell Helicopter is committed to having resources where customers operate to speed up delivery of service and support, and give customers access to service professionals who are easy to reach, know the operating environment and understand their needs.
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