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Plugging Indian Companies, Public and Private, in Our Global Supply Chain is a Key Pillar of Our Local Strategy
Yves Guillaume, President India, Airbus Group

Yves Guillaume How are you planning to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign?
We have submitted a joint bid with Tata to replace Indian Air Force’s Avro transporter with the modern C295 medium military transport aircraft. This is an excellent Make in India project and promises to support the Indian private sector in making the highly significant leap to creating a modern and efficient aircraft final assembly line (FAL), as well as assembling main components and producing detailed parts. This in turn will lay the ground for an Indian supply chain supporting the production of a market-leading military transport. This is why it is important that the government moves ahead with the competition.

Beyond our partnership with Tata for the C295, we have a JV with Larsen & Toubro for manufacturing radar, avionics, electronic warfare and mobile systems for military applications. Not to mention our over 50-year-old collaboration with HAL wherein it has built more than 600 helicopters with highly cooperative sharing of technology and know-how from Airbus Helicopters.

The strength of our commitment lies in the fact that we have an outstanding record in creating highly productive manufacturing collaborations with nations around the world. For example, in Australia, where Airbus Helicopters won the contract for 22 attack helicopters, 18 of them were assembled locally by an Australian company, Airbus Group Australia Pacific (AGAP), that acquired enough technologies and programme management expertise to further assemble transport helicopters and upgrade military aircraft, including production of 43 out of the 47 NH90 acquired in another major order. AGAP is now one of the leading national aerospace and defence companies with about 1,300 employees.

How was 2014 for your business in India?
All in all, 2014 was a fruitful year. Airbus signed a MoU with IndiGo for 250 A320neo family aircraft. The agreement will become Airbus’ single largest order by number of aircraft. Airbus also signed a long-term Flight Hour Services Tailored Support Package (FHS-TSP) with Vistara. Commercial A380 flights to India started last year as did AirAsia India operations using A320 aircraft. Also, Vistara commenced operations using A320 in January this year.

On the defence side, Airbus Defence and Space’s Optronics business unit and the Indian MoD signed a Euro 13 million contract for the delivery of a periscope maintenance facility in Delhi. In the field of space, Airbus Defence and Space-built high-resolution earth observation satellite SPOT 7 was successfully launched onboard ISRO’s PSLV launcher in June.

Plugging Indian companies, public and private, in our global supply chain is a key pillar of our local strategy. We had a significant achievement on this front last year when Dynamatic Technologies, an existing single source supplier of flap track beams for the A320 family aircraft, was awarded the contract to produce flap track beams for the A330 family aircraft as well. The new contract made Dynamatic the first private Indian company to become a global tier-1 supplier to Airbus.

On the other hand, the tender for the Light Utility Helicopters, where we had been ‘technically’ short-listed after extensive trials was cancelled yet again. We have spent considerable resources in participating in the FETs first in 2005 and then again in 2010. Moreover, though we have been selected by India as the preferred bidder for the supply of six A330 MRTT air-to-air refuellers, I think both sides now really need to finalise the contract.

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