Malaysia acquisition of EC-725 Eurocopters from France, Eurocopter also disclose a letter of agreement with Malaysia's BHIC Defence Technologies to develop an EC225/EC725 regional flight simulator centre. The simulators will be located at the new helicopter centre at Subang. The deal stems from the July 2011 offset plan for the 12 EC725s the Royal Malaysian Air Force is acquiring. (photo : Eurocopter)
KUALA LUMPUR: France is enthusiastic about playing a bigger role in Malaysia's research and development in the defence industry, said its visiting Defence and War Veterans Minister Gerard Longuet.
"We are keen to provide French expertise and technology and work together as a global partner," he said at a joint press conference with Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Defence Ministry yesterday.
Longuet also praised Malaysia for demonstrating its capabilities as a stabilising force in Southeast Asia.
Malaysia has also supported French initiatives by sending United Nations peace-keeping troops to Lebanon and medical teams to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation-led mission in Afghanistan.
He also commended Malaysia for ensuring the safe passage of its commercial vessels in the Gulf of Aden, by deploying naval auxiliary combat ships, to ward off Somali pirate attacks.
Zahid touched on the acquisition of assets like the EC-725 Eurocopters, Scorpene submarines and the Airbus A400M medium-lift air- craft from France.
"Although many of these products and services are French in nature, they meet our quality and specifications at the right price," said Zahid.
Malaysia is due to take delivery of 12 EC-725 helicopters from next year and the four A400M from 2015, both for the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The two Scorpene submarines have been in service with the Royal Malaysian Navy the past two years.