India’s Tata to jointly make helicopters with France’s Airbus
The signing of an agreement between the two countries occurred as part of French president Emmanuel Macron’s ongoing state visit to India.
(Top) The logo of Indian conglomerate Tata Group (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images) and Airbus logo (above) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
INDIA’S Tata Group and France’s Airbus have officially entered into an agreement to collaborate on the joint manufacturing of civilian helicopters, Indian foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra confirmed on Friday (26). The signing of the agreement occurred as part of French president Emmanuel Macron’s ongoing state visit to India. It is noteworthy that Tata and Airbus are already engaged in a partnership to produce C-295 transport aircraft in Gujarat, the home state of prime minister Narendra Modi.
During a media briefing, Kwatra highlighted the essence of the industrial partnership between Tata and Airbus helicopters, specifically for the production of H125 helicopters. The collaboration emphasises a significant indigenous and localisation component. Airbus, in a corresponding statement, announced the establishment of a final assembly line (FAL) for helicopters on Friday, mentioning that the produced machines would be exported to many of India’s neighbouring countries.
The timeline for setting up the FAL is estimated to be 24 months, with deliveries anticipated to commence in 2026, Airbus said, according to Reuters. The exact location for the facility will be jointly determined by both companies.
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Tata did not issue a statement immediately.
Macron, who reached India on a two-day visit starting Thursday (25) to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations, held talks with Modi on Thursday and took part in a state banquet hosted by his Indian counterpart Droupadi Murmu in his honour in New Delhi on Friday.
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It was also the fifth meeting between Modi and Macron since last May.
During the state visit of the French president, the two countries also discussed further cooperation in the defence sector, official sources said, including the possibility of French engine manufacturer Safran assisting in making fighter jet engines in India.
France is the largest arms supplier to India after Russia. New Delhi has relied on Paris for its fighter jets for four decades.
“Safran is fully willing to do it with a 100% transfer of technology in design, development, certification, production and so on,” India ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf said, adding that discussions will continue on the matter, the Reuters report added.
Also coinciding with Macron’s India visit, jet engine maker CFM International on Friday also announced an agreement with India’s Akasa Air to purchase more than 300 of its LEAP-1B engines to power 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
(With Reuters inputs)