Mahindra to build AS565 MBe Panther parts
Airbus Helicopters is positioning itself to target India’s Naval Utility Helicopter programme with the selection of Mahindra Aerostructures to manufacture airframe parts for the AS565 MBe Panther. The contract for the agreement was announced on 12 July.
Components manufactured by Mahindra in India will be integrated onto the Panther as part of the aircraft’s global supply chain. The company will eventually become the single source supplier to Airbus Helicopters for these parts.
Airbus Helicopters and Mahindra Defence are in the process of forming a joint venture to target India’s military helicopter programmes, including 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. If the aircraft is selected Airbus Helicopters plans to establish India as a global hub for Panther production in partnership with Mahindra Defence.
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 ground work for a rapid acceleration in terms of industrialising production in India, in case we are selected for the Naval Utility Helicopter programme.’
The AS565 MBe Panther is an all-weather, multi-role light rotorcraft, designed for operation from ship decks, offshore locations and land-based sites. Its mission spectrum includes naval warfare and coast guard missions such as maritime surveillance, search and rescue, casualty evacuation, EEZ surveillance and control counter-terrorism and anti-surface/anti-submarine warfare.
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