European Airbus Group and Mahindra Group have reached an agreement to build helicopters together in their attempt to win an expected wave of orders of the armed forces of the country, the companies said in a statement on Friday.
The two groups a joint venture in the coming months will be formed, with the goal of becoming the first private manufacturer of helicopters in India, the statement said. They didn’t mention anywhere how much they are going to invest.
India is in the midst of a massive upgrade of its armed forces – analysts forecast it will invest $250 billion over the next decade – and Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to encourage the manufacture of the final native country’s position as the largest importer of weapons in the world.
Airbus Helicopters, part of Airbus Group, is joining forces with Mahindra after talking with several Indian companies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to capitalize on the government’s drive to build weapons at home.
Other companies in the operation of the joint venture include Reliance Industries and Tata Group, an executive of Airbus Helicopters told Reuters in February.
“Together, we will produce helicopters of the latest generation in India that not only respond to the defense needs of our country, but also have the potential for exports in the future,” said SP Shukla, chairman, Mahindra Defence Systems.
The joint venture will look to win orders for reconnaissance and surveillance, naval and naval multipurpose utility helicopters, Airbus said.
Under current rules, foreign ownership in joint ventures in the defense industry in India is limited to 49 percent.