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Airbus and Tata Group ink deal to manufacture H125 single-engine helicopters
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Airbus and Tata Group ink deal to manufacture H125 single-engine helicopters

| @indiablooms | 27 Jan 2024, 12:50 am

New Delhi: Airbus and the Tata Group have inked a deal to manufacture the H125 single-engine helicopters from the European aircraft maker and establish a Final Assembly Line (FAL) for commercial purposes in Vadodara, Gujarat.

The Final Assembly Line, spanning 36 acres, is set to be operational by November 2024, with construction completion anticipated by mid-2024.

This facility will use components manufactured in Hyderabad at Airbus' Main Constituent Assembly (MCA) line, which will then be transported to Vadodara for the final assembly.

In addition to this partnership, the agreement includes the production of a minimum of forty C-295 transport aircraft at the Vadodara facility, with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) overseeing the operations.

On January 26, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra announced that India and France have successfully reached agreements on a defence-industrial roadmap and a defence space partnership.

This development was part of the agreements signed during the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India.

The FAL in India will undertake the integration of the major component assemblies, avionics and mission systems, installation of electrical harnesses, hydraulic circuits, flight controls, dynamic components, fuel system and the engine.

It will also do testing, qualification, and delivery of the H125 to customers in India and the region.

The FAL will take 24 months to set up and deliveries of the first ‘Made in India’ H125s are expected to commence in 2026. The location of the FAL will be jointly decided by Airbus and the Tata Group.

“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. This will be the second final assembly line Airbus is building in India after the ‘Make in India’ C295 military aircraft manufacturing facility in Vadodara, Gujarat.”

N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, said, “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.”

Undisputed in its class, the H125 produced in India will catalyse the use of helicopters in the country.

This multi-mission workhorse will revolutionise passenger and goods transportation and will also be used for segments such as emergency medical services (HEMS), disaster management, law enforcement, tourism and aerial work missions.

Providing last-mile connectivity to remote areas, the H125 will significantly contribute to the Government of India’s regional connectivity scheme – Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) which will further promote the tourism sector in the country.

The H125 is the world’s best-selling single-engine helicopter that outclasses other helicopters in its category.

This high-performing versatile helicopter is a member of Airbus’ Ecureuil family, which has accumulated more than 38 million flight hours worldwide.

It can operate in high-and-hot and extreme environments and can be easily reconfigured for various missions, including aerial work, firefighting, law enforcement, rescue, air ambulance, passenger transport, and many others.

The H125 is the only helicopter to have landed on Mount Everest, demonstrating its agility in operating in high-altitude, extreme environments.

The proposed helicopter manufacturing facility will be the second FAL to be established in India by Airbus, leveraging TASL’s capabilities in aerospace and defence.

The two companies are building the C295 military transport aircraft FAL in Vadodara, Gujarat.

The latest announcement is part of Airbus’ efforts to develop a holistic aerospace ecosystem in India, where the company is expanding its industrial footprint with aircraft assembly, component manufacturing, engineering and digital design and development, MRO support, pilot and maintenance training as well as academic collaboration to foster human capital.

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