Mahindra to make parts for Airbus helicopters AS565 MBe Panther rotorcraft

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 13 Jul 2016

L-R: Xavier Hay, president, Airbus Helicopters Division India; SP Shukla, group president, Aerospace & Defence, M&M; Fabrice Cagnat, director - Make in India, Airbus Helicopters; Arvind Mehra, ED & CE

Mahindra Group’s Aerostructures division has won a contract from Airbus Helicopters to make airframe parts for the AS565 MBe Panther.

These parts will be produced at the Mahindra facility in Bengaluru and will be shipped directly to the Airbus Helicopter production line in Marignane, France. The parts will be later integrated with the rest of the airframe assembly and will form a critical part of the Panthers sold worldwide.

The contract positions Mahindra Aerostructures as the first Indian company to receive a direct manufacturing contract from Airbus Helicopters as a tier 1 supplier. The work package is also the first amongst a series of packages which would embed the Mahindra Group firmly in the Airbus Helicopters’ global supply chain.

Commenting on the contract, Fabrice Cagnat, director - Make in India, Airbus Helicopters said, "We are playing an active role in the development of a helicopter-focused Indian industrial eco-system, and are embedding Indian suppliers into our global supply chain. The contract will allow us to qualify Mahindra Aerostructures as a Tier 1 supplier, establish a manufacturing relationship with them on the Panther, and also lay the groundwork for a rapid acceleration in terms of industrialising production in India, in case we are selected for the Naval Utility Helicopter programme."

Speaking on the partnership, Arvind Mehra, executive director & CEO, Mahindra Aerospace commented, “We believe this manufacturing relationship will allow us to demonstrate the quality and competitiveness of Mahindra Aerostructures to Airbus Helicopters. We are already committed to become a trusted partner and supplier to the Airbus Group for airframe parts and assemblies. This contract with Airbus Helicopters signals our further commitment to work with them to develop a robust Indian ecosystem for both design and build capabilities in aerospace.”

Airbus Helicopters and Mahindra Defence are in the process of forming a joint venture to target India’s military helicopter programmes such as the Naval Utility Helicopter, the Naval Multi-Role Helicopter and the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter. The AS565 MBe Panther is competing for the Naval Utility Helicopter programme. In case the Indian government selects the Panther, Airbus Helicopters will establish India as a global hub for Panther production in partnership with Mahindra Defence.

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