Boeing to invest in new factory in India

Aerospace major Boeing will invest in a brand new factory in India and create an entire aviation ecosystem as far as its ‘Make in India’ plans for its fighter aircraft the F/A-18 Super Hornet are concerned, said the company’s F/A-18 Program vice-president Dan Gillian. He was speaking to a visiting Indian media team now in the U.S.

Make in India

The multirole, dual seat aircraft is reported to be of interest to India, and now features in “Make in India” offers. He said that in the India plan, huge opportunities exist in the supply and manufacture of avionics, engine parts and landing gear components. Further, with improvements in displays, which now worked like an iPad, there were prospects in the fields of graphics too.

Adding to his remarks, Boeing India’s president Pratyush Kumar called it a “crown jewel project” which includes indigenisation and tapping into a supplier chain of vendors.

This will attempt to mirror the system around the Super Hornet production line at St. Louis, U.S., which is now supported by 800 vendors in 44 states and employs 60,000 people.

Mr. Kumar added that with this plant, India could not only look forward to manufacturing the Block II Super Hornet and even an Advanced Super Hornet but also help it design and build an Indian-made ‘next generation’ fighter. According to him, this would also help advance the country’s aerospace capabilities

Tier I manufacturing

The top officials said apart from the company’s manufacturing and supply experience in India so far, what gave it the additional confidence to come up with a plan of this size was “the fact that it had the DNA and scale to do this.”

“What we have proposed has been discussed with the U.S. government,” they clarified.

They said the company continues to be holding a series of discussions with its Tier I manufacturing partners in this connection and that both large and small partners have a role to play here.

The officials said the plane would be the U.S.’s front line fighter and would be in service till the 2040s, with several key technological upgrades being planned along the way.

Vendor chain

Indian companies are a part of the vendor chain in the current Super Hornet programme.

While Rossell Techsys and SasMos HET Technologies Limited supply wire and electrical bundles respectively, India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) builds wire bundles and gun door bays and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) makes the electrical panels.

(The writer is in the United States. at the invitation of the Boeing Company.)

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 3:11:23 PM |

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