Eurocopter unveils Indian subsidiary

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Eurocopter, a unit of European aerospace giant EADS, Wednesday unveiled an Indian subsidiary that will aim for contracts in the local market worth 138 million dollars over the next five years.

Eurocopter India Pvt Ltd. said military contracts would be dealt directly by the parent company.

"We are looking only at the civilian and paramilitary markets," subsidiary CEO Marie-Agnes Veve told a news conference.

Veve said the subsidiary hoped to grab half of India's helicopter market, which has been growing at an annual rate of 20 percent.

"Our target is to pick up 50 percent of India's market share with the sale of 25 helicopters each year until 2015," she said, adding the projected sales would be worth more than 100 million euros (138 million dollars).

Eurocopter is also back in the race to sell 197 helicopters to the Indian military.

India in 2007 scrapped Eurocopter's successful bid for the contract worth 600 million dollars following allegations it violated an Indian ban on using middlemen in defence deals.

The allegations were denied and Eurocopter re-bid for the contract after India floated fresh global tenders in 2008.

Veve said the company hoped to sell helicopters to Indian states looking for new hardware to combat Maoist guerrillas as well as to the energy, private and medical sectors.

"The Indian helicopter industry has great potential for expansion, given the country's expanding economy, its size and challenging terrain, as well as the industrial potential," she added.

© 2010 AFP

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