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India's First Private Helicopter Assembly Line

Published: 2nd Feb, 2024

Context

In a significant development coinciding with French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to India, Airbus Helicopters and the Tata Group have unveiled plans to collaboratively set up India's maiden private-sector helicopter assembly line.

Aims: The venture, marked by the establishment of a Final Assembly Line (FAL), aims to manufacture Airbus' highly sought-after H125 single-engine civil helicopter, catering to both the Indian market and neighboring countries.

Recent Aircraft production deals by TATA:

This groundbreaking initiative follows the footsteps of the Airbus-Tata collaboration to construct a Final Assembly Line in Vadodara for the C-295 military transport aircraft, part of a substantial contract to supply 56 aircraft to the Indian Air Force.

Partnership Dynamics:

  • Under this strategic partnership, Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a Tata Group subsidiary, will be at the forefront of establishing the helicopter assembly facility in collaboration with Airbus Helicopters.
  • The venture is poised to fortify the aerospace ties between India and France, providing an impetus to indigenous helicopter production capabilities.
  • Final Assembly Line in India will oversee the comprehensive integration of major component assemblies, avionics, and mission systems.
  • Additionally, it will be responsible for intricate tasks such as the installation of electrical harnesses, hydraulic circuits, flight controls, dynamic components, fuel systems, and the engine.
  • The facility will also conduct rigorous testing, qualification, and ultimately, deliver the 'Made in India' H125 helicopters to customers in India and the surrounding region.

Timeline and Deliveries:

  • The FAL is slated to commence deliveries of the first H125 helicopters by 2026.
  • Location is yet to be finalized.

Significance of the H125 Helicopter:

  • The H125, recognized as the world's best-selling single-engine helicopter, belongs to Airbus' Ecureuil family, boasting over 38 million flight hours globally.
  • Its versatility is highlighted by its ability to operate in challenging conditions, including high-and-hot environments.
  • The helicopter's adaptability makes it suitable for a range of missions, from aerial work and firefighting to law enforcement, rescue operations, air ambulance services, and passenger transport.

Economic Impact:

  • Airbus, currently sourcing $750 million annually from India for its global supply chain, envisions this figure to surge to $1.5 billion per year by 2026.
  • The venture not only signifies a boost to India's aerospace sector but also holds promising economic implications, fostering growth and collaboration in the dynamic aviation industry.
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