The European Commission has approved €377 million of French and German state support to the development of the Airbus X6 heavy helicopter.
Having been described as a successor to the Super Puma, a workhorse of the offshore oil industry, Airbus’ new helicopter project will receive support of €377 million, €330 million from France and €47.25 million from Germany.
Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said that the French and German support will stimulate considerable private investment in this project. “The support will help bring a new generation of innovative heavy helicopters to the market, without causing undue distortions of competition.”
The project is fully in line with the objectives set by the Europe 2020 flagship initiative for the Innovation Union. Such a high-technology civil heavy duty helicopter will require for Airbus to undertake significant research, development, and innovation to develop the new X6, that is expected to solve problems of access to platforms in the high seas, and also facilitate search and rescue, as well as humanitarian missions.