Boeing in India
More than 75 years ago, Tata Airlines operated a DC-3 aircraft in India. Since then, with the 707, 747, 757 Freighter, 777, 737 and the game-changing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing has been the mainstay of India’s commercial aviation sector with airlines such as Air India, Jet Airways and SpiceJet.
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.
Presently, with 10 C-17 Globemaster strategic airlifters and eight P-8I maritime surveillance and anti-submarine aircraft delivered, Boeing is playing an important role in the mission-readiness and modernization of India’s defense forces.
Headquartered in Delhi, Boeing’s India operations include an office and a Boeing Research & Technology Center in Bangalore, field service offices in Mumbai, Hindan, Rajali and New Delhi. Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen—a provider of flight navigation solutions—is well established in Hyderabad. Another subsidiary, Continental Data Graphics (CDG) in Chennai, is also expanding its footprint in the country.
Boeing in India has around 500 employees and more than 3,500 people work on dedicated Boeing supply–chain jobs with its 30 suppliers across manufacturing, engineering and IT sectors. The company continues to increase its footprint as tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers and sourcing activities continue to grow rapidly.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Air India has been a Boeing Commercial Airplanes customer since 1960, when it acquired its first 707 jetliner. Indian Airlines inducted the 737 Classic in the 1970s; the Next-Generation 737 is the workhorse today with airlines, such as Jet Airways, Air India Express and Spicejet; and India’s largest express cargo operator Blue Dart uses the Boeing 757 Freighter.
In 2006 Air India signed a contract for 68 Boeing jets. Since September 2012 Air India has been receiving its all-new, fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliners, which offer 20 percent more fuel savings than today’s similarly sized airplanes. The Dreamliner has helped Air India launch new routes to international destinations. Twenty-one 787s are now with Air India serving them to expand international routes and fuel-efficient operations. Jet Airways, a Boeing customer since the 1990s, operates 737s and 777s on its domestic and international routes. At the Dubai Airshow in November 2015, Jet Airways confirmed an order of 75 737 MAXs, its biggest ever fleet order. Additionally, the Indian Ministry of Defence operates four 737-200s and three 737 Boeing Business Jets.
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
On January 1, 2009, the government of India ordered eight advanced, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft, P-8I. 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-8I’s have been delivered to the Indian Navy.
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.
Shortly after the first Boeing C-17 Globemaster arrived in India in 2013, the aircraft supported a mission to carry equipment to an airbase in Andaman and Nicobar. The C-17 continues to be used by the IAF in flood and cyclone relief operations and humanitarian missions, including in Bihar, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir. In the Nepal earthquake the C-17s were actively used and in the Yemen evacuation C-17s were deployed to bring back over 2000 Indians, clocking 150 hours. All C-17 deliveries were completed in 2014.
In September 2015, the India Ministry of Defence finalized its order with Boeing for production, training and support of Apache and Chinook helicopters that 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.
Boeing Defense, Space & Security has a proven portfolio of products and services on offer for India, such as AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, and Harpoon missiles. The Boeing product range extends to unmanned systems, security solutions, services and support, and network-centric operations systems.
As a long-term strategic partner to India, Boeing is accelerating the development of an indigenous aerospace and defense ecosystem by contributing to the “Make in India” initiative. Boeing’s industrial partnership program is focused on capitalizing on India’s competencies to build a supply-chain capability that will be globally competitive. This will support aerospace and defense programs across the Boeing enterprise.
Recently Boeing formed a joint venture with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) to collaborate in aerospace and defense manufacturing and potential integrated systems development opportunities, including unmanned aerial vehicles.
Soon after, the Indian Prime Minister launched the “Make-in-India” initiative in September 2014, Dynamatic Technolgies and Boeing inaugurated a plant to manufacture critical parts for the Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopters. In a state-of-the-art facility with TAL Manufacturing Solutions Ltd., Boeing supports manufacture of complex floor beams for the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, one of the most advanced airplanes in the world. TAL also makes ground support equipment for the C-17.
Dynamatic Technologies and Tata Advanced Materials Limited (TAML) have delivered P-8I power and mission equipment cabinets, and TAML is on contract to provide P-8I auxiliary power unit door fairings and composite tailcones for the P-8I. Avantel has delivered the mobile satellite systems for the P-8I and Maini. Hyderabad-based Cyient (formerly Infotech) has supported a number of critical design-engineering projects for Boeing airplanes, and currently provides design and stress support on the 747-8 Freighter and the 787-8 and 787-9.
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has delivered the Indian-designed Data Link II for the P-8I. Data Link II is a communications system that enables exchange of tactical data and messages among 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. Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL) has provided the speech secrecy systems for the P-8I.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) was the single-source producer of 757 overwing exit doors. HAL has also manufactured the 777 uplock boxes, F/A-18 gun bay doors, F/A-18 wire harnesses, P-8I weapons bay doors, and P-8I identification friend-or-foe transponders.
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. Beyond direct work placement, Boeing 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.
Research & Technology and University Partnerships
Boeing has a long tradition of aerospace leadership and innovation and since 1995 has a research and development (R&D) presence in India, when collaborative research in aerodynamics was established with 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. This has contributed to aerospace innovation and advancement of aircraft design capabilities. IISc is one of only 10 universities worldwide that has such a special relationship with Boeing.
An evolved partnership, named the Aerospace Network Research Consortium (ANRC), was also set up with IISc involving other industry partners HCL Technologies and Wipro. This consortium has conducted research and codeveloped technologies related to wireless aerospace networks. This involved regular interaction between researchers in India and Boeing experts in the United States and has resulted in several doctorate theses and a number of research reports.
In 2009, Boeing further expanded its R&D footprint in India by establishing the Boeing R&T 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 to address future technical challenges in aerospace.
Also based in Bangalore, and staffed with modeling and simulation engineers, the Boeing Strategic Development and Experimentation (SD&E) Center provides defense experimentation and decision-support services to understand the future needs of the Indian armed forces.
In collaboration with IIT Bombay and Department of Science and Technology (DST), 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.
The work at NCAIR has led to 20 patents and technology breakthroughs and over 30 specialists have been trained and developed by the NCAIR. Key areas of research for NCAIR include Modeling & Simulation, where the researchers have generated new insights on methods to improve efficiency of machining titanium and aluminum alloys. Recently NCAIR inaugurated an Advanced Machining Excellence Cell on its campus.
Both NCAIR and ANRC have proven their worth in using technology to spur entrepreneurship and innovation in India’s aerospace industry to encourage its start-up culture.
Building a Skilled Aerospace Talent Pipeline
Boeing invests in an externship program with IITs and other top engineering colleges every year to select 12 students to work with our industry partner, Cyient, introducing students to world-class aerospace engineering projects and related best practices, thus resulting in high-tech career paths for talented students.
Boeing also provides funding and opportunity to students at selected universities to work in teams to design, build and demonstrate advanced-concept vehicles, such as autonomous navigation vehicles (at IIT Kanpur), solar-power-assisted airplanes (at IIT Kharagpur) and nanosatellites (at IIT Bombay).
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.
In a recent effort to address the critical and growing need for skills development in the Indian aerospace sector, Boeing is partnering with the National Skill Development Corporation India (NSDC) and the Nettur Technical Training Foundation (NTTF) to provide vocational training to Indian students and industry. Boeing-funded curriculums and initiatives have already been launched along with relevant aerospace partners, like Rossell Techys and TAML, to train workers on aerospace relevant skills. Several front-line workers have already been employed with Boeing suppliers after completion of training. This is helping fill the gap in “industry training” and helps in increasing the employability skills of prospective candidates resulting in an All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) accredited “post diploma in aerospace inter-connect solutions” (PDAIS).
Boeing – A Responsible Business Leader
As a responsible business leader, Boeing is committed to improving the quality of life in the communities where it operates. The company and its employees have been supporting and continue to be actively involved in various education and health programs and services in India. A major initiative has been the support of cancer patients along with CanSupport, an NGO that has been serving the neglected, underprivileged cancer patients and encouraging them to lead a normal life. Boeing also supports Sulabh International’s initiatives towards promoting public health and hygiene as part of the “Clean India” mission.
Boeing is also 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.
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Last revised February 2016.