The first Sikorsky S-92 — a large, twin-engine helicopter that can be used for both civil and military purposes — with a Made-in-India airframe is now flying in Brazil.
Air vice-marshal (retd) Arvind Walia, Sikorsky's regional executive for India and South Asia, told India Strategic defence magazine that the Tatas have supplied 15 airframes to the US company, which is fitting them with cockpits, engines, systems and rotors. The completed helicopters are then ready for supply to global customers.
The flight tests on the first Tata-made S-92 cabin have progressed satisfactorily and the helicopter is now being customised for supply to Lider Aviacao of Brazil. Lider charters both aircraft and helicopters for multi-applications, including servicing offshore oil installations.
Sikorsky and the Tata group have a 26:74 partnership joint venture, TARA, which manufactures and supplies about 4,300 components to the Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) in Hyderabad.
In interviews with India Strategic in London, two of Sikorsky's top executives said the company would develop India as a hub for manufacturing in the coming years.