In a major development, France has offered to completely shift the assembly line of the Panther medium utility helicopters to India, in addition to 70 per cent of Dassault Rafale fighter jet's assembly line.

France has offered to move the assembly lines of the Panther choppers and Rafale fighter jets to India under the government's "Make in India" rubric with full transfer of technology.

Built by Airbus under the title AS565MBe, Panther choppers are all-weather multi-role medium helicopters which have been designed for operations from the ship decks, offshore locations and land-based sites. Some 250 helicopters in the Panther/Dauphin family are operated by maritime customers in more than 20 countries, including the U.S. Coast Guard’s fleet of around 100 MH-65s.

About Eurocopter Panther Helicopter

The AS565 MBe naval version of Airbus’ Panther family of helicopters is an all-weather, multi-role medium rotorcraft, designed for operation from ship decks, offshore locations and land-based sites. It is made for a multitude of naval and coast guard missions such as maritime surveillance, search and rescue, casualty evacuation, offshore patrolling and counter-terrorism.


The AS565MBe is powered by two Safran Arriel 2N turboshaft engines for reliable performance in high and hot conditions. It features modern cockpit avionics that include an automatic flight control system (AFCS) and flight management system.

Technologically Advanced

Enhancing the AS565MBe’s mission capabilities are its advanced avionics and systems, including multifunction and tactical displays for the crew, while the FADEC full authority digital engine control system and vehicle and engine management display (VEMD) improve safety and reduce pilot workload.

Easily Maintainability

Modular mechanical assembly design – along with fiberglass Starflex rotor heads, composite tail rotor blades and airframe – contribute to significant reductions in maintenance time and costs. For its deployment from ships, forward bases and other remote locations, the AS565MBe is designed for simple and safe maintenance access. 

Replacement times are rapid for such assemblies as the engine, main rotor gearbox and blades, as well as main and tail rotor hubs. Also contributing to the serviceability are easy operational maintenance features such as fast lubrication of the main rotor head and tail rotor.

Additionally, the AS565MBe incorporates a new-generation, 100% composite shrouded tail rotor, which provides high manoeuvrability, low external sound levels, and optimal safety for passengers, ground and air crews.

Anti-Surface Unit Warfare

The AS565 MBe is highly effective in anti-surface unit warfare missions (ASuW), including over-the-horizon targeting (OTHT) for ships with long-range anti-ship missiles.

By acting as the ship’s principal weapon system, it can search, classify, shadow and strike with precision well beyond the horizon. At Best Endurance Speed (VBE) the aircraft has a loiter time in excess of four hours.

The offers were made to India by President Macron's Diplomatic Adviser Emmanuel Bonne who was in India earlier this week to participate in the 34th India-France strategic dialogue. During the visit, Bonne held engagements with National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and also with Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi.

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