27 Jan 2024 4:46 AM GMT


Tata to set up helicopter assembly unit with Airbus, first copter may take off in 2026


Airbus, Tata Group to set up helicopter manufacturing facility in India


This will be the second final assembly line that will be built by Airbus in India after the 'Make in India' C295 military aircraft manufacturing facility in Gujarat.

Mumbai: Airbus Helicopters will partner with the Tata Group to establish a final assembly line for helicopters in the country, a development that will help in boosting indigenous manufacturing activities.

This will be the second final assembly line that will be built by Airbus in India after the 'Make in India' C295 military aircraft manufacturing facility in Gujarat.

The Final Assembly Line (FAL) will produce Airbus H125 helicopters from its civil range for India and for exporting to some of the neighbouring countries, Airbus Helicopter said in a statement.

The facility will also be the first instance where a private sector player will set up a helicopter manufacturing facility in India, providing a major boost to the Indian government's 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) programme, the statement said.

The FAL is expected to be set up in 24 months and deliveries of the first 'Made in India' H125s are expected to commence in 2026.

The location of the FAL will be jointly decided by Airbus and the Tata Group.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said it is a historic day and the collaboration marks a significant milestone in promoting indigenous manufacturing and it will also be boosting the economy by creating diverse job opportunities.

Under the partnership, Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL), a subsidiary of the Tata Group, will set up the facility along with Airbus Helicopters.

The announcement was made during the two-day visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India as Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

The FAL will undertake the integration of the major component assemblies, avionics and mission systems, installation of electrical harnesses, hydraulic circuits, flight controls, dynamic components, fuel system and the engine, Airbus Helicopters said.

Besides, it will do testing, qualification, and delivery of the H125 to customers in India and the region.

"Helicopters are crucial for nation building. A 'Made-in-India' civil helicopter will not only be a symbol of the confident New India but will also unlock the true potential of the helicopter market in the country," Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said.

He also said the FAL is a reaffirmation of Airbus' commitment to developing the full spectrum of the aerospace ecosystem in India.

"This will be the second final assembly line Airbus is building in India after the 'Make in India' C295 military aircraft manufacturing facility in Vadodara, Gujarat," Faury said.

Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, said the Tata Group is delighted to set up India's first helicopter assembly facility in the private sector.

"This facility will have the final assembly line in partnership with Airbus for the world's bestselling Airbus H125 single engine helicopter for the Indian as well as export markets," he added.

This multi-mission workhorse will revolutionise passenger and goods transportation and will also be used for segments such as emergency medical services (HEMS), disaster management, law enforcement, tourism and aerial work missions, the statement said.

Providing last-mile connectivity to remote areas, the H125 will significantly contribute to the Central Government's regional connectivity scheme 'UDAN'- that will further promote the tourism sector in the country, it added.

In a post on X, Scindia said the partnership will empower the Make In India initiative.

It will also give a major boost to the country's economy by creating diverse opportunities for employment and job creation, unlocking the potential of the Indian aerospace sector, and further solidifying Indo-France relations, he added.

Earlier in the day, Scindia, after a meeting with Faury, said India has huge potential to become a global aircraft manufacturing hub.