Mahindra Aerospace, the aerospace venture of the Mahindra Group, inaugurated its aerostructures facility at Narsapura, about 50 km from Bangalore, on Monday. “The facility is aimed at positioning the Indian footprint in the global aerostructures supply chain,” said Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group.
Mr. Mahindra also announced that Mahindra Aerospace has entered into a “strategic” technology partnership with the Spanish Tier I aerostructures supplier, the Aernnova Group. Mr. Mahindra said the company has invested about Rs. 150 crores in the facility, which is likely to generate an initial turnover of Rs. 200 crores per annum. The facility, spread over 25,000 sq. metres, will employ about 400 personnel.
Mr. Mahindra said the group’s acquisition in 2010 of two Australian companies — Gippsland Aeronautics, a manufacturer of small aircraft, and Aerostaff, an aircraft component manufacturer — had given it a toehold in the global aircraft component supply chain. He said smaller turboprop aircraft had a bright future, especially in connecting smaller towns and inaccessible locations in the country.
Hemant Luthra, President, Mahindra Systech, said Mahindra’s acquisitions and the partnership with Aernnova would help it get Tier I certification. “This would help Mahindra Aerospace target a wider range of the available aerospace market,” Mr. Luthra said. He said the agreement with Aeronova provides for transfer of technology.
When asked what the prospects were of an aircraft flying out of the Mahindra stable, Mr. Luthra said the aerospace venture may start producing its eight-seater turboprop aircraft “within a time span of two years”. He said Gippsland has so far exported 250 aircraft from Australia, mostly for use in tourism, for humanitarian aid missions and for adventure sports in the US, Canada and Europe. The company is now developing a 10-seater turboprop, targeting a launch in 2014. Also under development is a five-seater, in association with the National Aeronautical Laboratory, Mr. Luthra said.