February 25, 2024
Aviation Business

Airbus and Tata Group to produce H125 helicopters in India

Helicopters destined for Indian and export markets

France’s Airbus Helicopters has joined forces with India’s Tata Group to inaugurate a Final Assembly Line (FAL) for helicopters in India. The 24-month setup process is anticipated to conclude in 2026, with the location jointly determined by Airbus and the Tata Group.

In partnership with Airbus, the facility will focus on the world’s bestselling Airbus H125 single-engine helicopter for both the Indian and export markets.

This pioneering move marks the private sector’s entrance into helicopter manufacturing in India, delivering a substantial boost to the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ programme.

Infographic: Airbus

The collaboration represents Airbus’ commitment to fostering a comprehensive aerospace ecosystem in India, expanding its industrial footprint across aircraft assembly, component manufacturing, engineering, digital design and development, MRO support, pilot and maintenance training, and academic collaboration to enhance human capital in the region.

Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a subsidiary of the Tata Group, will play a key role in establishing the facility alongside Airbus Helicopters.

French president’s visit

The announcement, made during French President Emmanuel Macron’s two-day visit to India as the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2024, outlines plans to manufacture Airbus’ best-selling H125 helicopter from its civil range.

The helicopters will be destined for both the Indian market and export to neighbouring countries in Asia.

The FAL in India will be responsible for integrating major component assemblies, avionics, and mission systems, in addition to installing electrical harnesses, hydraulic circuits, flight controls, dynamic components, fuel systems, and the engine for the ‘Made in India’ H125 helicopters.

The facility will also handle testing, qualification, and delivery of the ‘Made in India’ H125 helicopters.

Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO, expressed the project’s significance: “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.”

Faury stated that this initiative reaffirms Airbus’ commitment to developing the complete aerospace ecosystem in India following the establishment of the ‘Make in India’ C295 military aircraft manufacturing facility in Vadodara, Gujarat.

N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, highlighted the historical aspect of the venture by adding: “The Tata Group is delighted to set up India’s first helicopter assembly facility in the private sector.”

The H125, acknowledged for its exceptional performance, is expected to transform various sectors, including passenger and goods transportation, emergency medical services, disaster management, law enforcement, tourism, and aerial work missions.

With capabilities demonstrated by its landing on Mount Everest, the H125 is the world’s best-selling single-engine helicopter, belonging to Airbus’ Ecureuil family, which has amassed over 38 million flight hours globally.

Featured image: An Airbus H125 helicopter in flight. Image: Airbus

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, space, aerospace, aviation, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, fashion, and automotive verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally and protecting the world’s oceans from plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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