Iran has been receiving interest from leading international manufacturers of civilian helicopters, following the removal of Western sanctions, to resume investment in Iranian projects, a report said.
“In the past four months, French, Italian, German as well as US companies expressed interest in supplying modern helicopters and their spare parts to Iran,” Mahmoud Azin, Managing Director of Iran Helicopter Company (IHC), was quoted as saying in an Iran Daily report.
“Currently, close to 60 non-military helicopters are engaged in various Iranian sectors, of which 30 belong to the IHC,” he added.
Azin listed their models as R44, Bell 206, 212 and 412 as well as Helicopter Ecureuil, adding their missions are defined by the functions they are capable of.
He noted Iran imported nine helicopters in the past four years despite the sanctions.
Azin added that the country possesses the technology to produce modern helicopters conforming to international standards, but manufacturing them for the sole purpose of meeting domestic needs is not currently economical.
On the functions of the country's civilian helicopters, he said they are used to conduct exploration activities and construct oil platforms.
He disclosed that a number of contracts are currently under study to purchase spare parts from European firms, adding although most of the helicopters are old and maintenance costs are quite high, they are fully safe to fly, the report added.