NEW DELHI, July 6 (UPI) -- Airbus Helicopters and India's Mahindra Defense have agreed to form a joint venture to produce helicopters in the country to meet local military needs.
Airbus and Mahindra Defense, a subsidiary of the Mahindra Group, said the two companies will not enter discussions to finalize the joint venture which will act as the prime contractor for India's military helicopter tenders.
"We have an unparalleled track-record of successful industrial collaborations with local partners across the world," said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Helicopters president and chief executive officer. "We are convinced that with Mahindra we will not only have a mutually rewarding association but one which will offer immense benefits to India.
"The joint venture will be dedicated to supplying the Indian Armed Forces with Made-in-India, state-of-the-art helicopters of high reliability, quality and safety standard based on combat-proven platforms."
Airbus said the joint venture aims to become the first private Indian helicopter manufacturer under the 'Make in India' initiative, creating hundreds of high-tech jobs locally and lead to a flow of technologies to India if its selected in government helicopter tenders.
OFFUTT AFB, Neb., July 6 (UPI) -- The long reach of U.S. air power has been demonstrated by two U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers that conducted a non-stop mission to Australia.
The bombers, from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, flew non-stop to Australia, coordinated with Royal Australian Army forces, and conducted a conventional bomb drop before returning to the United States, the Air Force said.
The total time in their air: 44 hours.
"These flights are one of the many ways the U.S. demonstrates its commitment to a stable and peaceful Indo-Asia Pacific region," said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander. "In addition to strengthening aircrew skills and enhancing their familiarity with operating worldwide, combined training and theater security cooperation engagements with our regional allies serve to improve our interoperability and capability to respond to any potential threat together."
The U.S. Strategic Command's bombers regularly conducts such training and engagements around the world. Last month three B-52s deployed to Royal Air Force base Fairford in Britain and conducted training flights with ground and naval forces and participated in multi-national exercises over international waters in the Baltic Sea.
A month earlier, two B-52s participated alongside Jordanian forces in U.S. Central Command's Exercise EAGER LION 2015. The mission consisted of a nonstop, 30-plus hour sortie from the continental U.S. to the USCENTCOM area of operations.