Make In India: Airbus, Mahindra Announce Joint Venture To Make Helicopters For India's Armed Forces

03/07/2015 4:58 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
An Airbus Caracal multipurpose helicopter flies over the Powidz airbase in central Poland on May 14, 2015. Poland is testing the helicopters as it seeks to replace its Soviet-era equipment with 50 choppers for an alleged 3,3 billion euros ($3,5 billion). The NATO member is undertaking an uprecedented military upgrade amid heightened tension with neighbouring Russia over the Ukraine crisis. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — Airbus Helicopters said on Friday that it will partner with Mahindra Defence, a unit of the $16.9 billion Mahindra Group, to produce helicopters in India.

The joint venture will be the first private manufacturer of military helicopters under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' initiative. Airbus Helicopters is a unit of Europe's Airbus Group.

“We have extensive expertise in engineering, automotive and fixed-wing sectors and have made substantial investments in aero components manufacturing, while Airbus Helicopters offers best-in-class rotorcraft platforms," said S. P. Shukla, Group President, Aerospace and Defence Sector and Chairman, Mahindra Defence Systems Ltd. in a statement.

Mahindra Aerospace is also in the process of manufacturing a 10-seat turboprop Airvan 10, which is scheduled for certification this year.

“The tie-up is in line with our intent to develop an indigenous industrial ecosystem dedicated to helicopters. The joint venture will be dedicated to supplying the Indian Armed Forces with made-in-India, state-of-the-art helicopters of high reliability, quality and safety standard based on combat-proven platforms," said said Guillaume Faury, President and CEO, Airbus Helicopters in the statement.

The Indian government will spend $620 billion between 2014-2022, of which half will be capital expenditure said a February report by industry association FICCI and financial services company Centrum Capital Ltd. That represents a huge opportunity for Indian firms and major companies such as Mahindra Group, Reliance Group, Adani Group, Bharat Forge Ltd, Reliance Industries Ltd, the Tata Group, Larsen and Toubro Ltd., and the Godrej Group have announced their forays in the defence sector.

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