US aerospace major Boeing on Tuesday said it will showcase at the upcoming Aero India its focus on boosting local services, investments and partnerships in complimenting India’s ambitious goal of achieving self-reliance in defence manufacturing.
The 14th edition of ‘Aero India’, known as Asia’s largest aerospace exhibition, will be held in Bengaluru from February 13 to 17. Boeing said a key strategic goal for it in India is to strengthen and leverage local talent and its growing network of more than 300 supplier partners. “The Indian aerospace and defence industry is poised for growth and offers significant opportunities for Boeing with our proven portfolio of products and services,” said Salil Gupte, president, Boeing India.
“Boeing is committed to supporting and enabling this progress with a vision to bring the best of Boeing to India and take the best of India to the world,” he said. Boeing’s displays at the Aero India will be built around the theme of “The Runway to a Billion Opportunities” highlighting local partnerships and investments in India, according to the company. The exhibits will also feature a range of advanced products including the F/A-18 Super Hornet, P-8I, CH-47 Chinook, 737, 787 Dreamliner and 777X. The F/A-18 Super Hornet is in contention with Dassault Aviation’s Rafale M for the Indian Navy’s requirement for 26 deck-based jets for aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.
The Indian armed forces operate a sizeable number of Boeing-manufactured military platforms that included 11 C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft, 22 AH-64 Apache helicopters (with six more on order), 15 CH-47 Chinook choppers, 12 P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. India also has three Boeing VVIP aircraft, and two Head of State aircraft. In addition, more than 150 Boeing airplanes, including the next-generation 737, 737 MAX, 757, 777, and 787 Dreamliner, are operated by India’s leading commercial airlines. The joint venture between Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd — Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) — recently delivered the first fuselage for six AH-64 Apache attack helicopters ordered by the Indian Army from its state-of-the-art facility in Hyderabad.
TBAL has produced and supplied Boeing’s Apache final assembly plant in Mesa, Arizona with more than 190 fuselages. Boeing said visitors will be able to experience the AH-64 Apache simulator and learn more about the combat helicopter’s capabilities and a wide range of missions. It said the company will meet with customers and industry partners to discuss India’s future aviation, defence, and security requirements, focusing on in-country manufacturing, leveraging engineering and research talent, and strengthening local partnerships.
Boeing said it is expanding its support for local customers in India by establishing an ecosystem of comprehensive support packages and indigenous maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities with partners through the Boeing India Repair Development and Sustainment (BIRDS) programme. This all forms part of Boeing’s commitment to Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat, it said.