Airbus Helicopters and Mahindra Defence have reaffirmed their partnership toward producing military helicopters in India.

The two companies have made “significant progress” since entering a joint venture in 2015, says Airbus Helicopters in a statement.

To affirm their cooperation, the two companies signed a “statement of intent” in the presence of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and French president Francois Hollande, who is visiting India.

“Mahindra Defence and Airbus Helicopters have already initiated an industrial relationship to produce helicopter parts locally and are defining additional work packages to be industrialised in India which would facilitate the required rapid ramp-up in the case of a programme award to the joint venture,” says Airbus Helicopters.

“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 Joint Venture.”

Mahindra Defence produces armoured vehicles, undersea warfare equipment, and sensors for the Indian Military. Mahindra also has a general aviation aircraft unit, Mahindra Aerospace, which produces the Airvan 8 utility aircraft.

Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative is designed to develop the country’s manufacturing abilities, and also facilitate technology transfer.