Boeing announced an effort to explore opportunities with AI Engineering Services Ltd. (AIESL) for the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) of critical equipment on key Boeing defence platforms in India, including the P-8I operated by the Indian Navy and the 777 VIP aircraft operated by the Indian Air Force.
The collaboration was announced at the Boeing India Aatmanirbharta in Defence conference organized in New Delhi on May 10 2022, with participation from dignitaries from the Indian Navy, AIESL, and other key supplier-partners.
“Our planned collaboration with AIESL could position us to provide significant value-add to our defence customers locally by enabling faster turnaround, exceptional operational capability and mission readiness for the Indian armed forces. This is also an important step as part of our commitment to the Government of India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision of making India a regional MRO hub,” said Managing Director, Boeing Defence India, Surendra Ahuja.
This collaboration would support the Indian Navy’s growing P-8I fleet, building up the local aviation ecosystem, while ensuring quicker turnarounds for the Indian Navy. It would also help build indigenous MRO capabilities as it would bring the P-8I landing gear repair and overhaul work to India for the first time.
“Such collaboration would drive forward our vision for strengthening MRO capabilities in India, for India. We remain excited and committed as we provide critical support to India’s armed forces as part of the Boeing India Repair Development and Sustainment (BIRDS) hub initiative,” said CEO, AI Engineering Services Ltd, Sharad Agrawal.
Boeing India’s collaboration with AIESL would provide further impetus to the BIRDS hub initiative, an in-country network and alliance of suppliers led by Boeing in India that envisions a competitive MRO ecosystem for engineering, maintenance, skilling, repair and sustainment services of defence and commercial aircraft. The hub has been growing capabilities in India in the areas of heavy maintenance, component repairs, training, and skilling of MRO maintainers.
An important aspect of BIRDS is training programmes to increase skilled manpower by developing sub-tier suppliers and medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) to build high-quality MRO capabilities in India.