“We have an unparalleled track-record of industrial collaborations with local partners across the world. We are convinced that with Mahindra we will not only have a mutually rewarding association but one which will offer immense benefits to India,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Helicopters President & CEO.
“The tie-up is in line with our intent to develop an industrial ecosystem for 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,” he added.
Both companies will now get into discussions to finalize the formation of the joint venture which will act as the prime contractor for India’s military helicopter tenders including the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter, the Naval Utility Helicopter and the Naval Multirole Helicopter procurement programs.
“This arrangement between two established and trusted industrial players will create a formidable partnership,” said S. P. Shukla, Group President, Aerospace and Defence Sector and Chairman, Mahindra Defence Systems Limited.
“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. Together, we will produce India’s next-generation helicopters that will not only answer our country’s defence needs but will also have the potential for exports in the future,” Shukla added.
The resulting joint venture aims to become the first private Indian helicopter manufacturer under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. This will create hundreds of high-tech jobs locally and lead to a flow of cutting edge technologies to India should it be selected in the governmental helicopter tenders.
Mahindra Aerospace has led the Mahindra Group’s foray into utility aircraft and aerostructure manufacturing since 2008. Its utility aircraft business, based in Australia, currently produces the Airvan 8, the most capable, rugged and versatile utility aircraft in its class. Certified in 38 countries, over 200 are in service. Mahindra Aerospace is also developing a 10-seat turboprop, the Airvan 10, which is scheduled for certification in 2015.
Mahindra Defence has companies engaged in catering to needs of all three wings of Defence Forces - Army, Air Force and Navy, including armoured vehicles, underwater warfare equipment, radars and surveillance equipment.