Boeing in India
Boeing has been a strong partner of India’s aerospace sector for more than 75 years. India has been using Boeing products since World War II, when it acquired DC-2 and DC-3 airplanes. Since then, Boeing has been the mainstay of India’s commercial aviation sector, providing the country’s airlines with the most fuel-efficient airplanes.
Boeing’s relationship with India on the defense front goes back to the 1940s, when the Indian Air Force enlisted two Boeing aircraft: 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.
Today, Boeing continues to play an important role in the mission readiness and modernization of India’s defense forces. India has 10 C-17 Globemaster strategic airlifters, eight P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft (with four more on order), 22 Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters on order. India has also decided to purchase six AH-64 Apaches for the Indian Army.
Headquartered in Delhi, Boeing’s India operations include field service offices in Mumbai, Hindan, Rajali and New Delhi, and a Boeing India Engineering & Technology Center (BIETC) in Bangalore. Boeing India also has a 500 member team based in Chennai which provides technical content development, software delivery and engineering design services for the aerospace and defense sector.
Boeing in India has 2,200 employees, and more than 7,000 people who work on dedicated supply chain jobs with Indian suppliers across manufacturing, engineering and IT sectors. Boeing continues to increase its footprint as supply chain, sourcing, engineering and hiring activities continue to grow.
Boeing is committed to offering the most efficient commercial airplanes and world-class services to airlines in India. Tata Airlines, which later became Indian Airlines, began flying two DC-2s on flights between India and the Middle East. Later, it added the Douglas DC-3, which became the mainstay of Air India’s fleet in the 1940s.
Air India (originally Indian Airlines) has been a Boeing customer since 1960, when it acquired its first 707 jetliner. The airline also inducted the 737 Classic in the 1970s and, over the years, operated the 747-400, 777-200LR (Long Range), 777-300ER (Extended Range) and the Next-Generation 737. In 2006, Air India signed a contract for 68 Boeing airplanes. Since September 2012, Air India has continued to receive its fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliners. The Next-Generation 737 is the workhorse of airlines such as Jet Airways, Air India Express and SpiceJet.
Jet Airways, a Boeing customer since the 1990s, operates 737s and 777s. At the Dubai Airshow in November 2015, Jet Airways confirmed an order for 75 737 MAX airplanes, its largest fleet order. In March 2018, Jet Airways announced an additional order of 75 737 MAXs, bringing the order total to 150.
SpiceJet began its operations in 2005 with two leased Next-Generation 737-800s. Today, the 737 is the backbone of SpiceJet’s fleet. In January 2017, Boeing and SpiceJet announced a deal for up to 205 airplanes that include 100 new 737 MAX 8s, SpiceJet’s current order for 42 737 MAXs, 13 additional 737 MAXs and purchase rights for 50 additional airplanes. At the Paris Air Show in June 2017, Boeing and SpiceJet signed a memorandum of understanding for 40 737 MAX airplanes.
Boeing also supports India’s cargo operators. Blue Dart, India’s largest express cargo operator, uses the 757 Freighter, and QuikJet Cargo Airlines operates a 737-400 Freighter.
Additionally, the Indian Ministry of Defence operates four 737-200s and three 737 Boeing Business Jets. As well, two new Air India 777-300ER aircrafts are scheduled for modification for Head of State configuration.
Boeing is committed to offering efficient commercial airplanes and services that deliver superior design and passenger comfort to meet emerging customer needs in India.
Boeing Defense, Space & Security has a proven portfolio of products and services on offer to India. The Boeing product range extends to ISR capabilities, tankers, unmanned systems, security solutions and services and support.
On January 1, 2009, the government of India ordered eight P-8I advanced antisubmarine and antisurface warfare aircraft. The P-8I is an India-unique variant of the U.S. Navy’s P-8A Poseidon, which was developed from the Boeing 737-800. All eight P-8Is have been delivered to the Indian Navy. The P-8I fleet has fulfilled a range of missions for the Navy, which has ordered an additional four P-8I aircraft. Deliveries will begin in 2020.
In June 2011, India’s Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the U.S. government to acquire 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifters. The first C-17 was delivered in 2013 and deliveries were completed in 2014. Since its induction, the aircraft has proven its strategic airlift capabilities by successfully completing a wide range of mission critical roles. C-17s have been used by the Indian Air Force in flood and cyclone-relief operations and humanitarian missions.
In September 2015, the India Ministry of Defence finalized its order with Boeing for production, training and support of Apache and Chinook helicopters, which will greatly enhance India’s capabilities across a range of military and humanitarian missions. India will receive 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2019. In August 2017, India approved the purchase of an additional six Apaches for the Indian Army.
Boeing announced the establishment of a local operating entity called Boeing Defence India (BDI) in 2017. With BDI, Boeing is expanding its engagement with India to deliver advanced capability and readiness to India’s military customers and is developing a competitive supplier base in-country that is integrated into Boeing’s global supply chain.
Boeing is accelerating its manufacturing, skill development and engineering involvement in India, forging the way toward building a strong and indigenous ecosystem in support of the Make in India initiative. When Boeing looks at advantages across the world in quality, capability and cost, India is an obvious partner. Make in India is a core element of Boeing’s business strategy. Therefore, Boeing has accelerated its pace of investments, capitalizing on Indian capability and talent. Boeing’s sourcing from India has quadrupled in recent years and now stands at close to $1 billion a year.
In 2015, Boeing formed a joint venture with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) to collaborate in aerospace and defense manufacturing and potential integrated-systems development opportunities, including unmanned aerial vehicles. Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the facility in March 2018. The facility will eventually become the sole producer of AH-64 fuselages in the world. TASL also manufactures the CH-47 Chinook Crown & Tailcone Assembly, AH-64 Apache Secondary Structures and AH-64 Vertical Stabilizer.
Boeing has been working with suppliers in India for over two decades in manufacturing, IT and engineering services. Today, there are more than 160 suppliers providing advanced, complex components and subassemblies for our commercial and defense aircraft as part of an integrated global supply chain. These parts and assemblies cover critical components such as aerostructures, wire harness, composites, forgings, avionics mission systems and ground support equipment for Boeing’s commercial and defense aircraft, including the 777, 787, P-8, F/A-18 Super Hornet, F-15 and CH-47 Chinook.
Boeing also collaborates with Indian industrial suppliers on Lean manufacturing techniques, on program management and supplier management best practices, and in specialized trainings as part of its drive to bring the best of Boeing to India.
Boeing’s existing industrial partners are raising the bar to deliver world-class quality, cost-efficiency and productivity as they become an important part of the company’s worldwide supply chain for some of the most advanced aircraft in the world.
Boeing India Engineering & Technology Center (BIETC) in Bangalore is an integral part of Boeing’s engineering growth in strong global markets. BIETC engineers undertake high-quality, advanced aerospace technology-driven work on cutting-edge challenges that drive aerospace innovation from India, for India and the world.
At our Engineering & Technology Center our engineers work on the latest Boeing platforms including the 737 MAX and 777X, as well as multiple defense platforms. The diverse range of aerospace related work undertaken includes test and evaluation; development of advanced materials; data analytics for next-generation airplane health management; innovative applications on Internet of Things & Digital Transformation; and development of software tools that enable airlines and airports to operate more efficiently.
Boeing has invested in an engineering and technology campus in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The world class aerospace engineering, R&D and manufacturing center in Bengaluru will be the largest of its kind for Boeing outside of the United States. The facility will conduct core engineering and research for Boeing’s iconic products and work on path breaking products and platforms that will redefine the future of flight.
Boeing’s research and development (R&D) presence in India was established in 1995 when collaborative research in aerodynamics began at the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) in Bangalore. 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 Bangalore. The Boeing–IISc partnership focuses on research in materials and sciences for structural alloys, smart materials and structures, process modeling and simulation. An evolved partnership, named the Aerospace Network Research Consortium (ANRC), was also set up with IISc involving other industry partners, HCL Technologies and Wipro.
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 and Technology organization in the United States. The India facility conducts research in areas such as flight sciences, materials and processes, and structures and software with Indian research partners in academia, research laboratories and industry.
In collaboration with IIT Bombay and the Department of Science and Technology, Boeing conceptualized the National Centre for Aerospace Innovation and Research (NCAIR) in 2009 to support world-class research and manufacturing development in aerospace, with the objective of applying this capability to the aerospace industry in India.
Boeing invests in an externship program with IITs and top engineering colleges every year to select students to work with our industry partner Cyient. The program introduces students to world-class aerospace engineering projects and related best practices, thus resulting in high-tech career paths for talented students.
As an aerospace leader, Boeing plays a role in inspiring the next generation of engineering talent in India. Boeing launched a national aeromodeling competition for engineering universities across India in 2013. This annual competition is now organized in the form of four zonal events, with a grand finale culminating in Delhi. During the events, Boeing provides training to students and helps them design, build and fly their airplanes, encouraging them to take to aerospace careers. More than 1,200 participants from 250 educational institutions across India participated in the competition in 2018.
In a recent effort to address the critical and growing need for skills development in the Indian aerospace sector. Boeing provides vocational training to Indian students and industry and Boeing-funded curriculums and initiatives have already been launched along with relevant aerospace partners such as Rossell Techsys, TAML and Jaivel. These curriculums and initiatives will help train workers on aerospace-relevant skills.
Boeing, in partnership with Air India Engineering Services Limited and the Ministry of Civil Aviation, has also announced the launch of an Accelerated Apprenticeship Program for aircraft maintenance engineers (AME). The key objectives of the program are to improve the employability of AMEs through training and hands-on experience with actual aircraft. The state-of-the-art center, inaugurated in June 2018 in Mumbai, combines a “smart” class setting and advanced training aids with a customized curriculum, created by Boeing experts to train aircraft maintenance engineers.
By leveraging the power of the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing HorizonX globally invests in new business ventures, seeks opportunities through nontraditional partnerships and assesses disruptive innovations and business strategies. The Boeing HorizonX Ventures portfolio includes investments in autonomous systems technology, wearable enabled technologies, augmented reality systems, hybrid-electric propulsion, advanced materials and artificial intelligence.
In November 2017, Boeing in collaboration with T-Hub, India’s fastest growing startup engine, launched the Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge to energize aerospace innovation in India.
The Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge is aimed at attracting the best Indian startups to propose disruptive solutions to tackle complex challenges in the areas of autonomous and unmanned systems, advanced manufacturing, industrial IOT and automation, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
The Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge 1.0 has six finalists for the current edition. After evaluating submissions from over 100 Indian startups, 13 disruptive ideas were shortlisted for a competitive pitch. The finalists Merxius, HuviAir and ZetIoT participated in a 3-month accelerator program at T-Hub, Hyderabad, where they were mentored by Boeing subject matter experts, investors, entrepreneurs and industry experts to shape and refine their ideas.
Boeing will continue to mentor the startups and provide them opportunities to connect to other potential investors and expand their business with customers. Boeing continues to evaluate disruptive startups in India, for potential investments in the future.
As a socially responsible business leader, Boeing is committed to improving the quality of life in the communities in which it operates. The company and its employees are actively involved in various education and health programs and services in India. One major initiative is the support of cancer patients along with CanSupport, an NGO that has been serving neglected, underprivileged cancer patients and encouraging them to lead a better life. Boeing also supports Sulabh International’s initiatives toward promoting public health and hygiene as part of the Clean India/Swachh Bharat mission. Over the years, through our initiatives, we have positively impacted more than 2M lives in India.
Boeing is deeply committed to protecting the global ecosystem. A technology leader, the company actively supports the production of environmentally progressive products and services. Boeing is also working with its suppliers and customers around the world to address 21st century environmental concerns.
As Boeing continues to move forward, it sees exciting advancements in its relationship with India that would enable the Indian aerospace industry to become the economic growth engine that it aspires to be.