Airbus Helicopters recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its factory in Albacete, Spain, highlighting the critical role the Spanish factory will play in the company’s new manufacturing strategy. The ceremony in Albacete was presided by Spanish Defense Minister Maria Dolores de Cospedal, who took advantage of the occasion to sign the handover certificates for two H215s to the Spanish Air Force’s 802 Squadron/RCC Canarias as well as for two HAD/E Tigers and an NH90 for the Spanish Army Airmobile Force (FAMET). Along with production sites in France and Germany, the Albacete plant will become a center of excellence for the manufacture of major components assemblies. As Airbus Helicopters indicated, the factory will “lead to improved quality and competitiveness, and provide long-term visibility for the industrial activity in Albacete.” The Spanish plant will specialize in the production and integration of the rear fuselages of all Airbus helicopters for the global market. “We are especially proud of our 10-year presence in Spain and we want the country to be a key part of our shared project to maintain our status as the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “Adapting to the market situation, we have transformed our company to become more competitive and increased our industrial efficiency by specializing our production sites and expanding their competences,” he added. Airbus Helicopters’ strategy in Spain also includes the creation of a National Support Centre that will support the helicopter fleets of the Spanish Ministry of Defense. In doing so, the center will perform a similar role to existing sites in France and Germany.