Tatas, Airbus to jointly set up helicopter assembly unit in India

26 Jan 2024

Tatas, Airbus to jointly set up helicopter assembly unit in India

Airbus Helicopters is partnering with the Tata Group to establish a final assembly line (FAL) for Airbus’ H125 helicopter in the country. The facility will produce helicopters for civilian use for India as well as for export to neighbouring countries. 

The announcement was made during French President Emmanuel Macron’s two-day visit to India as chief guest at the 26 January Republic Day celebrations.

Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a subsidiary of Tata Group, will set up the facility along with Airbus Helicopters. This will be the first private sector helicopter manufacturing facility in India, and is expected to give a big boost to the government’s 'Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ programme. 

The assembly unit will be used for the integration of major component assemblies needed for the helicopter, including avionics and mission systems, installation of electrical harnesses, hydraulic circuits, flight controls, dynamic components, fuel system and the engine. It will also facilitate testing, qualification, and delivery of the H125 to customers in India and neighbouring countries. 

Tatas and Airbus expect the facility to come up in the next 24 months and deliveries of the first ‘Made in India’ H125 to commence in 2026. The location of the FAL will be jointly decided by Airbus and the Tata Group.

It may be noted that state-owned defence major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and French aerospace giant Safran kick-started a project for the repair and manufacture of helicopter engines for civil and military markets, in Goa.

For Tatas, this will be the second final assembly line to be built jointly with Airbus after the C295 military aircraft manufacturing facility in Vadodara, Gujarat.

“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,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO. “This helicopter final assembly line, which we will build together with our trusted partner Tata, is a reaffirmation of Airbus’ commitment to developing the full spectrum of the aerospace ecosystem in India,” he added.

“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,” N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, said.

The H125 helicopter finds use in passenger and goods transportation as also for segments such as emergency medical services (HEMS), disaster management, law enforcement, tourism and aerial work missions. It can also be used for providing last mile connectivity to remote areas, contributing to the government’s regional connectivity scheme Udan, which, in turn, will promote tourism, according to an Airbus release. 

With aircraft assembly unit and facilities for component manufacturing, engineering and digital design and development, MRO support, pilot and maintenance training as well as academic collaboration to foster human capital, Airbus is expanding its presence in in India.


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