Friday, February 12, 2010

Field Trials On Way As Boeing Targets Indian Market

Aviation Week

AWIN First Feb 11 , 2010

Neelam Mathews


Boeing is looking further ahead in the Indian defense procurement and development market as it now enters the third and final phase of field trials for the proposed F/A-18IN for India’s 126 Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition.

India recently sent a letter of request for 10 C-17s, 15 heavy-lift CH-47 Chinooks and 22 Apache AH-64D attack helicopters, for which Boeing has submitted proposals.
Field trials will be held this spring, according to Vivek Lall, vice president and India country head for Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

Boeing also won the contract for eight P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, the first of which will be delivered to the Indian navy in 2013 and the last by 2015.

Lall said the Chicago-based contracting giant will meet the $640 million local offset for the Indian P-8s.

Meanwhile, the company announced that is has formally signed a contract with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) for the Indian defense manufacturer to provide weapons bay doors for eight P-8Is for the Indian navy. Under the $4.7 million contract, HAL will deliver the first set of doors to Boeing in Seattle by the end of the year.

Although HAL provides other equipment for P-8I through its avionics division in Hyderabad, this is the first P-8I offset package that Boeing has directly executed with India’s largest aerospace company, according to Lall.

In addition to its P-8I work, HAL also supplies Boeing with gun bay doors and wire harnesses for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and uplock boxes for the 777 airliner.

“Five sets of gun bay doors have already been shipped and this shows that India is now part of Boeing’s global supplier base,” said Dinesh Keskar, president of Boeing India.

Focus areas in India will be training and simulation, raw materials development and research, according to Keskar, who noted the Technology Center opened last year in Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) to advance aerospace innovations.

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