In a move towards bolstering India's 'Make in India' initiative, Airbus Helicopters on Friday (January 26) said it has joined with Tata Group to establish the nation's inaugural Final Assembly Line (FAL) for helicopters in the private sector.
The partnership aims to produce Airbus' renowned H125 helicopters for both the Indian market and neighbouring countries, marking a significant stride in India's quest for self-reliance, as outlined in the 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat' program.
The announcement, made during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations, signals a substantial investment in the country's aerospace sector.
"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," said N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons.
Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO, emphasised the strategic importance of helicopters in nation-building and expressed confidence that a 'Made-in-India' civil helicopter would symbolise a confident New India. Faury noted that the establishment of the helicopter's final assembly line is a testament to Airbus' commitment to developing a comprehensive aerospace ecosystem in India.
The H125, renowned as the world’s best-selling single-engine helicopter, is expected to transform various sectors such as emergency medical services, disaster management, law enforcement, tourism, and aerial work missions. Its capabilities, including operations in high-and-hot and extreme environments, make it a versatile workhorse suitable for a wide range of missions.
The proposed helicopter manufacturing facility is the second Final Assembly Line to be established by Airbus in India, following the 'Make in India' C295 military aircraft manufacturing facility in Vadodara, Gujarat.
The partnership represents a broader effort by Airbus to cultivate a holistic aerospace ecosystem in India, covering aircraft assembly, component manufacturing, engineering, digital design and development, MRO support, and human capital development through academic collaboration and training initiatives.
By Jomy Jos Pullokaran