In a major boost to 'Make in India', Airbus Helicopters is to establish a final assembly line (FAL) for its H125 helicopter from where it will also export to some of its neighbouring countries. The announcement was made during the two day visit of French President Emmanuel Macron as chief guest at the country's Republic Day celebrations.
The FAL will be the first instance of the private sector setting up a helicopter manufacturing facility in India, providing a major boost to the government's 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) programme. Tata Advanced Systems, a subsidiary of Tata Group, will help set up the facility.
The FAL will undertake the integration of major component assemblies, avionics and mission systems, electrical harnesses, hydraulic circuits, flight controls, dynamic components, fuel system and the engine. It will also perform testing, qualification and delivery of the H125 to customers in India and the surrounding region. The FAL will take 24 months to set up and deliveries of the first 'Make in India' H125s are expected to commence in 2026. The location is yet to be decided.
"Helicopters are crucial for nation building. A 'Make-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," says Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. "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."
Tata chairman N Chandrasekaran adds: "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."
The India-made H125 will catalyse the use of helicopters in the country for passenger and goods transportation, 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, that will further promote its tourism sector.
This is part of Airbus' efforts to develop a holistic aerospace ecosystem in India, where it 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.