The European Commission (EC) has given the green light to the German and French governments to provide Airbus with loans worth €377 million ($420 million) to develop the X6 helicopter.

The X6, the subject of an ongoing feasibility study is envisioned as the company’s next-generation large helicopter that would eventually go on to replace the company’s Super Puma and H225 family of helicopters during the 2020s.

The commission said the program would “significantly contribute to research and innovation in the EU without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.”

Some €330 million will come from France, while Germany will contribute €47.25 million.

The EC says that the scope of the X6 project and the associated risks mean that the investments required “exceed the self-financing capability of Airbus.” It adds the company would have struggled to finance the program through the banks when the returns on investment are expected over a long period.

Airbus plans for the X6 to be its first commercial helicopter to use a fly-by-wire control system and aims for it to deliver 15-20% reductions in direct operating costs, fuel burn and environmental impact—notably in terms of noise—compared to current-generation aircraft.