Mar. 25, 2014 - By JOSÉ HIGUERA – Defense News
SANTIAGO — Airbus Defence and Space and Chile’s Empresa Nacional Aeronautica (ENAER), the state-owned aerospace firm under Air Force administration, signed a cooperation agreement Tuesday expanding their 30-year joint business arrangement for maintenance and upgrade services.
The agreement will increase cooperation and technology transfers for maintenance of C-295, CN-235 and C-212 transport planes, as well as for upgrading of A-36T Aviojet training and light strike planes.
The agreement was signed by Antonio Rodriguez-Barberan, the head of military sales at Airbus Defence and Space, and Chilean Air Force Brig. Gen. Henry Cleveland, CEO of ENAER.
The signing took place during the opening day of the FIDAE International Aerospace Show, the main military and commercial trade aerospace show in South America, which is running here this week.
The agreement with ENAER is part of a push by Airbus Defence and Space to establish a maintenance, repair and overhaul network with preferred partners around the world.
In the case of ENAER, the arrangement will allow the Chilean firm to provide, at the start, maintenance services to operators of the C-212 from Chile as well as other South American nations.
There are about 30 C-212s in service with military operators in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Venezuela.
As part of the agreement, ENAER will receive additional support for the maintenance and potential upgrade of the A-36T/C-101 Aviojet training and light strike jets of the Chilean Air Force.
The Chilean firm also maintains C-101 jets in service with the Honduran Air Force.
Rodriguez-Barberan said, “It was a great pleasure for Airbus Defence and Space to sign this cooperation agreement with ENAER, a company with which we have such close historical ties. We are today strengthening not only our cooperation with this company, but with the whole Chilean aerospace industry.”
Cleveland underlined that “this agreement will allow us in ENAER to provide maintenance services that are much needed, both in Chile and in other countries in our region.”
ENAER’s relationship with the European group started in the 1980s, when a number of C-101 jets were locally assembled for service with the Chilean Air Force. Later, the Chilean firm started manufacturing parts for the CN-235 and C-295, as well as providing maintenance services for C-212s