Bengaluru: Aerospace major Boeing on Thursday announced a public-private partnership with government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and diversified Indian multinational Mahindra to produce next-generation F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters in a new ‘factory-of-the-future’ in India.
Sunil Velagapudi, Acting President of Boeing India, presented company plans for ‘Make in India’ and offered advanced capabilities to Indian armed forces at the on-going Aero India 2019.
He said the partnership with HAL and Mahindra will create jobs, industrial capacity, and a globally competitive Indian supply chain.
“With multi-role capabilities, advanced technologies, growth potential and low-acquisition and sustainment costs, the combat-proven F/A-18 is a clear choice for the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force,” he said.
Introduced in 2007, the Super Hornet is the world’s leading fighter aircraft, highly capable across the full mission spectrum and continually evolving to outpace future threats.
In addition, Boeing laid out its future defence plans proposing the KC-46A aerial refueler, AH-64E Apache attack helicopter, additional P-8 long-range maritime reconnaissance, and anti-submarine aircraft, and the twin-engine Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft.
Boeing also highlighted its growing services, sustainment and training footprint in India which is delivering exceptional operational capability and readiness for current platforms at a competitive cost structure. The P-8I and C-17 operated by the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force have high mission readiness rates of more than 85 per cent, as a result of this commitment.
For the soon-to-be-inducted AH-64E Apaches and CH-47F(I) Chinooks, the first batch of Indian Air Force pilots have been undergoing training in the United States. Boeing also plans to establish rotorcraft training and support capabilities in India as deliveries commence this year.
Boeing also shared its success on ‘Make in India’, highlighting the contributions of its over 160 suppliers that provide parts and assemblies covering aerostructures, wire harness, composites, forgings, avionics mission systems, and ground support equipment for some of Boeing’s most advanced defence platforms.
Further, Boeing highlighted the deliveries of the first batch of AH-64 Apache fuselages by Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited, the joint venture with Tata Advanced Systems Limited, which is the sole-producer of fuselages globally.