Close on the heels of its recent $22 bn mega deal for supply of airplanes to India’s SpiceJet, US aviation giant Boeing is now betting big on India’s defence sector. In a significant step, Boeing on Wednesday announced the establishment of Boeing Defense India (BDI), a local operating entity.
By Anupama Airy
This India specific entity will support the Boeing’s future growth objectives in India in the areas of services and support, sales and marketing, sourcing, manufacturing and engineering.
Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India, will lead BDI and the expansion of the Boeing Global Services organization in India to better serve customers in India including the Indian government, while continuing his responsibilities as president of Boeing India.
It is significant to note here that after the recent deal with France to procure 36 Rafael fighter jets from Dassault Aviation, the next big purchase from India’s Defence sector would be that of a carrier based fighter. Indian Navy has recently released a detailed Request for Information for procurement of 57 Multi-Role Carrier Borne Fighters (MRCBF) and Boeing is one of the strong contenders for supplying its F/A-18 Super Hornet in this category.
“As a key market for Boeing, we are making the changes necessary to position ourselves for future growth, drive decision making closer to the customer, strengthen partnerships with local companies in India and accelerate our efforts to achieve the country’s ‘Make in India’ vision,” said Leanne Caret, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security after the announcement over BDI.
“BDI will serve as a framework enabling us to draw on the growth and productivity benefits that India can offer Boeing,”she added.
BDI will oversee Boeing’s recent investments in India including the Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) joint venture, the C-17 simulator training center, Boeing’s sourcing and manufacturing activities, sales and marketing activities and the engineering center expansion.
With BDI, Boeing said it will expand its engagement with India’s Ministry of Defence to deliver advanced capability and readiness to India’s military customers and to develop a competitive supplier base in country that is integrated into Boeing’s global supply chain.
Further, BDI will set up a local sustainment support footprint in India that will enhance its responsiveness on local sustainment and training contracts.
This, coupled with the efforts of “last-mile” services execution teams based in India, will ensure the high availability of platforms to Boeing customers for missions at a competitive cost structure.
“India is among the fastest growing economies in the world, and Boeing has made accelerated investments to grow the manufacturing, skill development and engineering scale in the country,” said Pratyush Kumar.
“Going forward, our strategy will be to continue leveraging India’s strengths to maximize growth and productivity for Boeing and help create a robust and self-sufficient aerospace ecosystem in the country.”
Since 2009, Boeing has played a key role in enhancing India’s defense capabilities and partnering with military customers on their mission requirements with the C-17 Globemaster III, P-8I and the soon-to-be-delivered AH-64 Apache and the CH-47 Chinook.