Bengaluru: Aerospace behemoth Boeing announced on Thursday it would build “a factory of the future” in India, involve in skill development and forge partnerships with private and public sector companies for manufacture of the next generation Block III F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
It has already forged a partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Mahindra Defence Systems (MDS) in this regard, says Mr Thomas Breckenridge, Vice President, International Sales, Strike, Surveillance and Mobility, at Aero India 2019, adding “we won’t wait for competition as we are here for a lifetime and will build the ecosystem to manufacture a globally competitive fighter aircraft.”
He told the media: “This partnership will deliver affordable, combat-proven fighter capabilities to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy.”
Earlier in the day, top executives of Boeing held discussions with Mahindra Defence Systems (MDS) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), on the proposed F/A-18 Super Hornet through “Make in India” scheme. .
The programme is expected to work with several Indian suppliers to grow a thriving defence aerospace base which could accelerate other defence programmes as well
The facility would create a world-class, highly trained aerospace workforce, it said. The public-private partnership is intended to bring Boeing, HAL and MDS' global scale and supply chain, its best-in-industry precision manufacturing processes, as well as experience in designing and optimising aerospace production facilities to expand India's aerospace ecosystem and help realise the 'Make in India' vision.
Boeing's Super Hornet is a proven platform that offers the fighter of the future for India networked, survivable and reliable, the statement said. Introduced in 2007, the F/A-18 Super Hornet is the world's preeminent carrier capable aircraft and best suited for India's naval fighter requirements designed from day one for carrier operations, according to Boeing. The Super Hornet is capable across the full mission spectrum for the Indian Air Force and is a true multi-role aircraft, able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, it said. In addition, Boeing also laid out at Aero India its future defence plans proposing the KC-46A aerial refueller, AH-64E Apache attack helicopter, additional P-8 long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft, and the twin-engine Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft.
Boeing also highlighted its growing services, sustainment and training footprint in India which is delivering exceptional operational capability and readiness for current platforms at a competitive cost structure. The P-8I and C-17 operated by the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force have high mission readiness rates of >85%, as a result of this commitment. For the soon-to-be-inducted AH-64E Apaches and CH-47F(I) Chinooks, the first batch of Indian Air Force pilots have been undergoing training in the United States, it said. Boeing also plans to establish rotor craft training and support capabilities in India as deliveries commence this year, it said. Boeing also shared its success on 'Make in India', highlighting the contributions of its 160+ suppliers that provide parts and assemblies covering aerostructures, wire harness, composites, forgings, avionics mission systems, and ground support equipment for some of its most advanced defence platforms.
Boeing highlighted the deliveries of the first batch of AH-64 Apache fuselages by Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited, the Joint Venture with Tata Advanced Systems Limited, which is the sole-producer of fuselages globally....