Boeing, BEL sign pact to set up analysis and experimentation centre in India

Thursday, February 12, 2009, 20:11 by Aviation Correspondent

The United States-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing Company and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), owned by the government of India, have signed a memorandum of understanding to set up jointly an analysis and experimentation centre in India.

The centre, according to Boeing, is aimed at enabling India’s defence forces to make “informed decisions while modernising the country’s defence capability.”

Bharat Electronics makes advanced electronic products for India’s armed forces.

In a statement, Vivek Lall, vice-president and country head, Integrated Defence Systems, Boeing Company, said that the first Boeing-BEL centre was to be set up in Bangalore and that most of the employees would be Indians. The joint analysis and experimentation centre, having simulation capability, would enable India’s defence forces “to plan their defence purchases in the long run, avoiding redundancies,” Lall added.

The centre, according to Vivek Lall, would help develop local intellectual property and integrate other non-US products, besides letting customers take crucial decisions in designing and building products.

Already, Boeing Company has joint-venture analysis and experimentation centres in Australia and the United Kingdom, each having the ability to collaborate with Boeing’s centres in the United States, Lall said.

With the aid of the latest modelling, simulation and analysis tools, the centre to be set up in India would enable customers to conduct experiments in a collaborative and immersive environment to analyse the utility of new technologies or tactics on military operations, the Boeing executive explained.

Dinesh Keskar, president of Boeing India, told the media that Boeing expected India’s civil aviation market to be worth around $105 billion in the next 20 years and that the market for Integrated Defence Systems might reach $31 billion in the next 10 years.

He said India was one of the few markets that was growing notwithstanding the global economic recession. Boeing, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial and defence aircraft, has not seen any cancellation of order from India-based airlines that were its major customers, be it Air India, India’s national carrier, Jet Airways, or Spicejet.

Boeing is set to supply 100 planes, mainly wide-bodied aircraft, over the next 5 years to airline companies in India. It sold aircraft worth $25 billion to airlines based in India in the last 3 years.

Construction of Boeing’s new facility for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhauling (MRO), being located near Nagpur in India, was likely to begin in the third or fourth quarter of the next financial year, Keskar said.

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