In a significant advancement for India‘s aerospace industry, Airbus Helicopters has forged a partnership with Tata Group to inaugurate the country’s maiden Final Assembly Line (FAL) for helicopters. This initiative underscores a major stride towards the ‘Make in India’ initiative, aiming for self-reliance in manufacturing, as Airbus Helicopters commits to produce its best-selling H125 helicopter in India for both domestic and international markets.The establishment of the FAL marks a historic milestone as it will be the first instance of the private sector initiating a helicopter manufacturing facility in India. The collaboration between Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a subsidiary of Tata Group, and Airbus Helicopters exemplifies a strategic alliance aimed at bolstering India’s aerospace capabilities.
Announced during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations, the FAL will be pivotal in the integration of major component assemblies, avionics, and mission systems. It will also facilitate testing, qualification, and delivery of the H125 helicopters to customers in India and the neighboring region. The commencement of operations at the FAL is expected in 2026, with the location to be jointly determined by Airbus and the Tata Group.
Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO, expressed confidence in the venture, emphasising its significance in enhancing India’s aerospace ecosystem. He highlighted the FAL as Airbus’ second manufacturing facility in India after the C295 military aircraft facility in Vadodara, Gujarat.
N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, lauded the collaboration, noting the facility’s potential to revolutionize the aviation sector in India and beyond.
The H125 helicopter, renowned for its versatility and performance, is poised to become a cornerstone in various sectors, including emergency medical services, disaster management, law enforcement, and tourism. It will play a pivotal role in the Government of India’s regional connectivity scheme – Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN), facilitating last-mile connectivity to remote areas and bolstering the tourism sector.
The H125, part of Airbus’ Ecureuil family, has amassed over 38 million flight hours globally and has demonstrated exceptional capabilities, including landing on Mount Everest.
The collaboration between Airbus and Tata Group signifies a strategic alliance aimed at fostering India’s aerospace industry and aligns with Airbus’ broader vision of nurturing a comprehensive aerospace ecosystem in the country.