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SOURCE: AFI

In a major boost to India’s aerospace ambitions, Airbus and the Tata Group have joined forces to manufacture helicopters in the country. This landmark deal will see the production of both the H125 single-engine helicopter for commercial use and the popular H130 helicopter, widely employed for sightseeing, VIP transport, medical emergencies, and surveillance missions.

The strategic partnership, to be officially announced on Friday, coincides with the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership. This collaboration marks a significant step forward in India’s quest for self-reliance in the aviation sector and strengthens the longstanding ties between India and France.

The helicopter assembly line will be established in Gujarat’s Vadodara, a hub for India’s burgeoning aerospace industry. Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a subsidiary of the Tata Group, will oversee the assembly operations, leveraging its expertise in manufacturing and engineering. This not only creates valuable jobs and fosters technological know-how within India but also positions the country as a potential exporter of helicopters in the future.

The H125 helicopter, known for its versatility and maneuverability, caters to a range of commercial needs, including high-net-worth individuals, cargo transportation, and medical emergencies. With a growing demand for such services in India, the local production of the H125 is expected to bring cost benefits and quicker delivery times to customers.

The H130, meanwhile, is a proven workhorse in various sectors, from tourism and VIP transport to law enforcement and disaster relief. Its inclusion in the manufacturing agreement ensures India will have access to a reliable and multi-purpose helicopter platform.

This partnership signifies a deeper strategic collaboration between Airbus and the Tata Group. The two entities have already entered into a joint venture to manufacture C-295 transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force, further solidifying their commitment to India’s defense and aerospace goals.

The Airbus-Tata helicopter manufacturing deal represents a win-win situation for all stakeholders. It strengthens India’s domestic capabilities, provides Airbus with a strategic foothold in the fast-growing Indian market, and creates a valuable partnership that could pave the way for future collaborations in the aviation sector. As the helicopters take flight from Vadodara, they symbolize not just India’s growing ambitions in the skies but also the deepening strategic ties between India and France.