Airbus Helicopters is set to collaborate with Mahindra Defence, a subsidiary of India’s Mahindra Group, to manufacture helicopters domestically to meet the country’s military requirements.
As part of this development, both firms will establish a new joint venture company, which would become the first private Indian helicopter builder under the country’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Airbus Helicopters president & CEO Guillaume Faury said: "The tie-up is in line with our intent to develop an indigenous industrial ecosystem for helicopters.
"The joint venture will be dedicated to supplying the Indian Armed Forces with Made-in-India, state-of-the-art helicopters of high-reliability, quality and safety standard based on combat-proven platforms."
This new partnership will provide best rotorcraft solutions for India’s needs and strengthen indigenous industrial capabilities, Airbus Helicopters stated.
The companies will now go ahead with discussions to finalise the formation of the new joint venture.
The JV is expected to act as the prime contractor for the country’s military helicopter tenders, including the reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter, the naval utility helicopter and the naval multirole helicopter procurement programmes.
Mahindra Defence Systems chairman SP Shukla said: "We have extensive expertise in engineering, automotive and fixed-wing sectors and have made substantial investments in aero components manufacturing, while Airbus Helicopters offers best-in-class rotorcraft platforms.
"Together, we will produce India’s next-generation helicopters that will not only answer our country’s defence needs but will also have the potential for exports in the future."
Mahindra Aerospace, together with Aviation Unlimited, is currently developing a ten-seat turboprop, the Airvan 10. The aircraft is scheduled for certification this year.