BENGALURU: Aerospace behemoth Boeing is getting a supply chain and the aerospace ecosystem ready as part of its proposal to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to establish a modern production facility in the country to roll out advanced F/A-18 Super Hornets and next generation fighters best-suited for the next century, says Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India, and Vice President of Boeing International.
On Thursday, Mr Pratyush Kumar received the first electrical panel assembly manufactured for F/A-18 Super Hornets by Bengaluru-based SASMOS HET Technologies Limited as part of a $ multi-million deal with the local small & medium enterprise (SME). “We will not wait for the decision or orders, but are getting the foundation ready and creating the most globally competitive supply chain in India. We have 30-odd direct and 130 indirect suppliers, and are looking at them to source components and systems (for F/A-18 Super Hornets). Our philosophy is ground up, while others work on top down models,” he told Deccan Chronicle.
In view of MoD’s decision to scout for another fighter jet beyond the Rafale, Boeing’s proposal to roll out F/A-18 Super Hornets as part of the “Make in India” initiative now figures in government-to-government discussions. “Today’s delivery of the critical electrical panel assembly is a seminal event for us. Most people will tell you we will do this or that, subject to getting orders. We are getting the grassroots supply chain ready, and the final assembly will be in India if the F/A-18 Super Hornet is selected by the government,” he added.
Boeing has accelerated its manufacturing, skill development and engineering footprint in the country, forging the way towards building a strong and indigenous ecosystem, in support of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
In recent years, it has enhanced its global aerospace sourcing from the country, launched the foundation for a joint venture facility with the Tatas in Hyderabad for manufacturing fuselages and aero structures for Apache attack helicopter, built infrastructure like the Nagpur MRO, partnered with NSDC to skill aerospace workers, and has rapidly scaled up its advanced engineering center in Bengaluru.
Boeing’s sourcing from the country has doubled in recent years and now stands close to half a billion dollars a year. By 2020, Boeing expects that sourcing will increase four times the 2014 level.
Soon after handing over the first electrical panel assembly, Mr H.G. Chandrasekhar, Managing Director, SASMOS, said “In a relatively short time frame, we have increased our production rate at SASMOS, conformed to Boeing standards and production processes and exceeded the quality demands of Boeing for its flagship F-15 and F/A-18 programmes. It is a matter of pride for the SASMOS team to be part of the global aerospace industry supply chain for the most advanced fighter jets in the world.”
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