Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra announced on Friday that Tata Group has signed an agreement with France’s Airbus to develop civilian helicopters. He said the agreement was signed during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India.

Tata and Airbus will create a new assembly line for helicopters soon

Tata and Airbus are already cooperating to make the C-295 transport aircraft in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat.

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Kwatra said during a media briefing on Friday, “Industrial partnership (signed) between Tata and Airbus helicopters for production of H125 helicopters with a significant indigenous and localisation component.”

The agreement was also confirmed by Airbus, which said in a statement that the final assembly line (FAL) for helicopters will be set up soon, and the machines produced would also be exported to some of India’s neighbouring countries.

“The FAL will take 24 months to set up and deliveries … are expected to commence in 2026,” Airbus said, adding that the location of the facility will be jointly decided by the companies.

During Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to India, further cooperation in the defence sector was also discussed by both the countries, including the possibility of French engine maker Safran assisting in manufacture of fighter jet engines in India.

“Safran is fully willing to do it with a 100% transfer of technology in design, development, certification, production and so on,” India Ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf said, adding that discussions will continue on the matter.

Safran-India Shakti jet engines deal

Shedding light on the “ongoing discussions” between India and Safran regarding the Shakti jet engine deal, Ambassador of India to France Jawed Ashraf said that the focus of the deliberations is on achieving a set of specifications that align with India’s future fighter jet requirements.

“This is a subject of ongoing discussions,” Ambassador Ashraf said, highlighting the intricate nature of the negotiations.

“Now, the issue is really about arriving at a set of specifications that comply with our future fighter jet requirements,” he said, explaining that the current discourse involves more than just the transfer of manufacturing technology.

According to the Indian envoy to France, the deal aims to delve into the actual design phase, metallurgical aspects, and other critical elements that contribute to the development of advanced jet engines.

(With inputs from Reuters, ANI)



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