Boeing-India Growing from strength to strength
India will receive the latest models of 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. “This is a milestone in Boeing’s expanding commitment to India,” said Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India.
US aerospace and defence behemoth, Boeing is consolidating its relationship with India, having been the country’s partner in progress for nearly 70 years now. The recent wins by Boeing in India – for 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters – have put the arc lights on the US major. What began as a commercial sale of DC-3 aircraft about 70 years back to Tata Airlines has transformed itself into an enduring relationship, though there may been periods of lull in between. Boeing’s relationship with India in the realm of defence too dates back to the 1940s when the Indian Air Force (IAF) flew the T-6 Texan or Harvard Advanced Trainer made by North American Aviation and the C-47 Skytrain Military Transport, a military variant of the DC-3, made by McDonnell Douglas.
After a fairly long gap, Boeing started to play an important role in the mission readiness and modernisation of the armed forces. In June 2011, India’s Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the US Government to acquire 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifters. It was in 2013, Boeing bounced back with the delivery of C-17 Globemaster III airlifter and P-8i maritime surveillance and antisubmarine aircraft. This relationship has been further firmed up with India giving the green signal for purchase of the Apache and Chinook helicopters.
India will receive the latest models of 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. “This is a milestone in Boeing’s expanding commitment to India,” said Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India. “This acquisition enhances the IAF’s capabilities and offers us an opportunity to further accelerate ‘Make in India.’ Large sections of the Chinook fuselage are already manufactured in India and discussions are ongoing with our Indian partners to make Apache parts.”
The Apache is the world’s leading multi-role attack helicopter. The AH-64E Apache, the most modern variant also flown by the US Army, features enhanced performance, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding.
The CH-47F Chinook is an advanced multimission helicopter operated by the US Army and 18 other defence forces. The Chinook has proven its ability to operate in the range of conditions that typify the Indian subcontinent, including delivering heavy payloads to high altitudes.
“These new aircraft will provide world-class capabilities to meet the IAF’s missions today, tomorrow and well into the future,” said David Koopersmith, Vice President and General Manager, Boeing Vertical Lift division. “This agreement represents another major step forward in our long and successful relationship with India.” India is the 14th nation to select the Apache and the 19th nation to select the Chinook.
“The Apache and Chinook represent the best of high-performing technologies that will modernise India’s defence capabilities,” said Dennis Swanson, Vice President, Defense, Space & Security in India. “We look forward to delivering the newest Apache and Chinook to our customers and remain focused on delivering on its commitments to the IAF and India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD).”
Boeing Expands Footprint in India
Headquartered in Delhi, Boeing’s India operations include a corporate office in Delhi, the Boeing Research & Technology center in Bengaluru, and field service offices in Mumbai and Delhi. Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen, a provider of flight navigation solutions, is well established in Hyderabad. Two other Boeing subsidiaries, Narus in Bengaluru and Continental DataGraphics in Chennai, are also expanding their footprint in the country.
Boeing, along with its subsidiary companies, employs over 400
employees in the country. Today, as Boeing’s partnership with India is expanding to meet the country’s larger aerospace and defence requirements, it is also rapidly building sustainable value and expertise in the Indian aerospace sector.
Boeing Defense, Space & Security
On January 1, 2009, the Government of India purchased eight Boeing P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft. The P-8I is an India-unique variant of the US Navy’s P-8A Poseidon, a development from the Boeing 737-800. In June 2011, MoD signed an agreement with the US Government to acquire 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifters.
Boeing Defense, Space & Security has a rich portfolio of products and services on offer to India, besides the helicopters, and Harpoon missiles. The Boeing portfolio also extends to unmanned systems, security solutions, services and support, and network-centric operations systems.
Accelerating the development of an indigenous aerospace and defence ecosystem is a central part of Boeing’s strategy in India. Boeing’s industrial partnership programme is focused towards identifying and engaging with companies in India for supporting aerospace and defence programmes across the Boeing enterprise.
With a view to capitalising on India’s competencies, Boeing is collaborating with Indian partners to build capability that will be globally competitive. These industrial partners are raising their bar to deliver world-class quality, cost-efficiency and productivity, and are becoming an important part of the company’s worldwide supply-chain for some of the most advanced aircraft in the world.
Since 1997, Boeing has worked with India’s premier software development companies – including HCL, Infosys, Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) – on several projects related to systems re-engineering and development, web enabling, e-business applications and long-term maintenance. In 2005, Boeing added a variety of knowledge-based engineering and data analysis projects, as well as aircraft design activity, to its existing IT work in India.
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) became the singlesource producer of 757 overwing exit doors in 1991. HAL has manufactured the 777 uplock boxes, 777 flaperons, F/A-18 gun bay doors, F/A-18 wire harnesses, P-8I weapons bay doors, P-8I tailcones and P-8I identification friend-or-foe transponders.
The Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has delivered the Indiandesigned Data Link II for the P-8I, a communications system that enables exchange of tactical data and messages between the Indian Navy aircraft, ships and shore establishments. BEL has also delivered the identification friend-or-foe interrogator, a battle management system that enables the aircraft to distinguish friendly aircraft and forces. Finally, BEL is on contract to provide F/A-18 flight deck cockpit panels. The Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) provides the Speech Secrecy Systems for the P-8I.
In addition to defence public sector undertakings, India’s wellreputed private companies play a large role in Boeing industrial strategy. Dynamatic Technologies and Tata Advanced Materials Limited (TAML) have already delivered P-8I power and mission equipment cabinets, and TAML is also on contract to provide P-8I auxiliary power unit door fairings. Dynamatic Technologies is on contract to manufacture the aft pylon and cargo ramp assemblies for Boeing’s CH-47F Chinook. Avantel delivers the mobile satellite systems for the P-8I and Maini and TAL Manufacturing Solutions are on contract to provide C-17 ground support equipment.
Research & Technology and University Partnerships
Since 1995, Boeing has a R&D presence in India, when collaborative research in aerodynamics was established with the National Aerospace Labs (NAL) in Bengaluru. This has developed into a series of projects in aerodynamics and advanced analysis methods at NAL, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur.
In 2005, Boeing entered into a strategic research partnership with IISc Bengaluru. The Boeing-IISc partnership focuses on research in materials sciences for structural alloys, smart materials and structures, process modelling and simulation. The Aerospace Network Research Consortium (ANRC) was set up in 2008 with the IISc and industry partners, HCL Technologies and Wipro. This consortium has conducted research and co-developed technologies related to wireless aerospace networks.
In 2009, Boeing further expanded its R&D footprint in India by establishing the Boeing Research & Technology India Center, an Indian counterpart of Boeing’s Research & Technology organisation in the United States.
In 2011, Boeing signed an agreement with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to establish a centre to promote aerospace manufacturing capabilities in India. A consortium model was adopted with Boeing, DST and IIT Bombay joining hands as the founding partners to create the National Centre for Aerospace Innovation and Research (NCAIR). This centre, located on the campus of IIT Bombay, enables Indian and multinational organisations – such as NAL, HAL, Godrej, DMG, MORI SEIKI, Sandvik Coromant and Delcam – to collaborate, and develop solutions.
Also based in Bengaluru, and staffed with modelling and simulation engineers, the Boeing Strategic Development & Experimentation (SD&E) Center provides defence experimentation and decision-support services to understand the future needs of the Indian armed forces.
The relationship continues to grow, based on trust and understanding the needs of a nation which is emerging as a major economic powerhouse.
AH-64E Apache attack helicopter
CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopter