Taking forward the memorandum of understanding signed in July, Mahindra Defence and Airbus Helicopters today inked a pact to form a joint venture to produce military helicopters in India. The statement of intent was signed today by representatives of both companies in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande. "We have made significant progress in setting up the joint venture and together the companies are creating a world-class advanced helicopter production facility in India," Mahindra and Mahindra Group President for Aerospace and Defence S P Shukla said. Mahindra Defence and Airbus Helicopters have already started working on steps to produce helicopter parts locally and are defining additional work packages to be industrialised in India. Simultaneously, both sides are evaluating potential industrial sites and are screening the existing local supply chain while moving ahead with the setting up of the JV. "Through this partnership, we target building several of our globally leading helicopter models in India. This will lead to the transfer of state-of-the-art technologies, development of manufacturing activities and creation of high-skilled jobs in India," said Airbus Helicopters President and CEO Guillaume Faury. The companies are proposing to set up a final assembly line in India, develop tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers and make extensive transfer of technology, with the intent to ultimately achieve 50% indigenous content. "Mahindra Defence and Airbus Helicopters have agreed on a blueprint that can put India on the world map for military helicopter manufacturing," President of Airbus Group India Pierre de Bausset said. The JV formation will be subject to customary regulatory approvals. "The helicopters we are proposing are of proven designs.
We are laying the groundwork with the objective to ramp up quickly," Mahindra Defence Naval Systems CEO Devendra Bhatnagar said.