American aircraft manufacturer Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems, the unlisted aerospace and defence arm of the $100-billion Tata Group, announced on Monday that they will form a joint venture to manufacture aerostructures and collaborate on integrated development opportunities in India. Aerostructures are components of an aircraft’s airframe, including the fuselage, wings or flight control surfaces.
“The JV will create a manufacturing centre of excellence to produce aerostructures for the AH-64 Apache helicopter and to compete for additional manufacturing work packages across Boeing platforms, both commercial and defence,” a joint statement by the two companies read. “Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems intend to grow the JV partnership in the future, with a focus on opportunities to collaborate on development and selling of integrated systems.”
Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India said: “Over the last 12 months, we have doubled our sourcing from India and are committed to continue that journey,”
Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme and the government’s initiatives to further open up the defence manufacturing sector to foreign players, a number of international defence and aerospace manufacturing firms are looking at India and exploring joint ventures with local companies.
Tata Advanced Systems was established in 2007 and had an order book of Rs 4,000 crore as of December-end 2014. The company has similar tie-ups with other marquee international aerospace brands like Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky. In fact, airframes of the new set of Marine One helicopters (the S-92 chopper made by Sikorsky), meant for the exclusive use of the US President, will be made by Tata Advanced Systems in India.
(This story appears in the 27 November, 2015 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)