India’s Mahindra Aerostructures will produce airframe parts in Bengaluru for the Airbus Helicopters A565 Panther.

The parts will then be sent directly to Airbus Helicopters’ production line in Marignane, France, says Airbus Helicopters.

“The contract positions Mahindra Aerostructures as the first Indian company to receive a direct manufacturing contract from Airbus Helicopters as a Tier 1 supplier,” says the European manufacturer.

“Mahindra Aerostructures will gradually emerge as the global single source supplier to Airbus Helicopters for these parts. This work package is the first amongst a series of work packages which would embed Mahindra Group firmly in the Airbus Helicopters’ global supply chain and bind the two companies in a long-term ‘Make in India’ partnership.”

Airbus Helicopters did not provide details of the specific parts, or when production will commence.

Airbus Helicopters and another Mahindra Group company, Mahindra Defence, plan to bid for several upcoming Indian military acquisitions.

These include the Naval Utility Helicopter requirement for 56 rotorcraft and the Naval Multi-Role Helicopter requirement for 120 rotorcraft.

The pair also hope to secure business under New Delhi’s Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter (RSH) requirement. After a drawn-out acquisition process, in 2015 New Delhi selected the Kamov Ka-226T Sergei for this 197 rotorcraft requirement for the Indian air force and navy.

Airbus Helicopters is hopeful that this requirement will be expanded, as its AS550 C3 Fennec was a strong contender for the original RSH deal, and actually won the competition in 2007. Faults in India’s selection process, however, caused this early victory to be overturned.