Already Making in India
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Already Making in India

Already Making in India

Boeing has ambitious plans to integrate Indian defence companies into its global supply chain under the ‘Make in India’ programme. According to the Boeing vice-president, global sales, defence, space and security, Gene Cunningham, “In the next 10 years, Boeing India will grow from Delhi and its other four operating centres around India to about 12 to 15 centres with Indian partners.”

Cunningham, who is responsible for all Boeing defence products and services worldwide, was talking with Indian journalists at the recently concluded Paris Air Show. Dismissing scepticism in certain defence quarters at the recently announced Strategic Partnership in the defence procurement procedure, Cunningham said, “I have read the Strategic Partnership released by the Indian government, and it makes business sense.”

Asked about the growing profile of Boeing India, he said that the commercial activities associated with Apache, Chinook, P8I and C-17 along with the Boeing engineering technical centre in Bangalore which employs 2,000 people, the company was contributing to India in four ways. One, it was producing a high volume of qualified engineers. Two, the volume of work in India on account of the four Boeing India programmes was growing. Three, the growing work was making the company more competitive and less expensive. And finally, Boeing India’s growth was helping Indian companies in producing global capabilities.

For example, “Tata Systems Limited (TASL) is involved in the production of Apache fuselage,” he pointed out. The Boeing-TASL joint venture is supposed to create a manufacturing centre of excellence to produce aero-structures for the Apache helicopter and will collaborate on integrated systems development opportunities in India. Interestingly, Apache will be the sole foreign platform with both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army; 22 with the IAF and 11 with the army. Similarly, the joint venture with Dynamatic Technologies which was earlier for the P8I has been expanded to include the Chinook helicopters.

Boeing India and Mahindra Defence Systems have opened a centre in Gurugram to provide C-17 training services to the IAF. Once operational, this centre would reportedly conduct local and multi-site simulations. The IAF presently has 10 C-17 Globemaster heavy lift transport aircraft; one more is expected to be procured soon.

Given the increasing footprints of “Boeing India which includes products, services, training and maintenance we have set the bar high,” said Cunningham. What he did not say was that coupled with Boeing commercial activities in India, Boeing could well be the biggest company in India which has adopted itself effortlessly to the Make in India programme.


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