Boeing continues to partner to accelerate ‘Make in India’ for aerospace and defence
For over 80 years, Boeing has been a steadfast partner to the growth and modernisation of India’s aerospace and defence sector. For Boeing, India continues to be not just a key aerospace market, but also a vital partner for global growth.
The pace and depth of our engagement through products, services and partnerships have increased tremendously in recent years. Boeing is strengthening its relationship with customers and other stakeholders; expanding its global-supply chain footprint through collaboration, growing its partnerships in research, technology and academia to leverage India’s strengths – and delivering on its commitment to the success of ‘Make in India’ and India’s aerospace sector.
Creating a self-reliant aerospace manufacturing ecosystem
When Boeing looks at advantages across the world in quality, capability and cost, India is an obvious partner. Boeing is focused on its Indian partnerships to fully harness the productivity in India to deliver more-for-less, to its customers worldwide. In that sense, ‘Make in India’ has become a win-win mantra for Boeing – while we create jobs and industrial capacity in India, we also stay globally competitive.
Our sourcing from India has quadrupled in recent years and is now nearly USD1 billion a year. We are taking a dual approach of equity and non-equity investments in support of ‘Make in India’. Apart from Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) and its supplier footprint, Boeing is also leveraging non-equity routes to develop the indigenous aerospace and defence manufacturing sector. Boeing has invested significantly in supplier development, training, tooling and quality systems at Indian suppliers without taking an equity stake, and we continue to increase our partnerships with public and private companies.
Today, there are more than 160 suppliers providing advanced, complex components and subassemblies for our commercial and defence aircraft as part of an integrated global supply chain. These parts and assemblies cover critical components such as aerostructures, wire harness, composites, forgings, avionics mission systems and ground support equipment for Boeing’s commercial and defence aircraft, including the 777, 787, P-8, F/A-18 Super Hornet, F-15 and CH-47 Chinook. In June 2018, TBAL delivered the first AH-64 Apache combat helicopter fuselage, ahead of schedule and just recently, Dynamatic Technologies (DTL) delivered the 75th aft pylon and cargo ramp components for Boeing’s H-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter.
Boeing’s existing industrial partners are raising the bar to deliver world-class quality, cost-efficiency and productivity as they become an important part of the company’s worldwide supply chain for some of the most advanced aircrafts in the world.
F/A-18 Super Hornet: ‘Make in India’ for the future
Boeing is committed to further expanding its close partnership with India by producing Super Hornets in India, further developing India’s aerospace ecosystem. Boeing’s proposed ‘Make in India’ plans for the Super Hornet are not just about moving a production line, but rather building an entirely new and state-of-the-art production facility that can be utilised as a roadmap for other programmes like India’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) programme.
In April 2018, Boeing announced a partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Mahindra Defence Systems (MDS) for manufacturing the F/A-18 Super Hornet in India for its armed forces and pursuing the joint development of future technologies. Future production with Indian partners will involve maximising indigenous content and producing the F/A-18 in India for its armed forces to create a 21st century aerospace ecosystem.
This partnership is intended to bring Boeing, HAL and MDS’ global scale and supply chain, our best-in-industry precision manufacturing processes, as well as the unrivalled experience we have in designing and optimising aerospace production facilities. The plan addresses the infrastructure, personnel training, and operational tools and techniques required to produce a next-gen fighter aircraft, right here in India. In addition, Boeing will work closely with the Indian industry to ensure they have the very latest technologies, applying lessons learned from the current Super Hornet production line.
(The writer is president, Boeing India)