US aircraft firm Boeing has announced it will scale up manufacturing in India by spreading its operations across Hyderabad and other southern cities.
Pratyush Kumar, president of Boeing India, said as one of the priority markets for the company, it would be looking to expand it’s manufacturing and engineering footprint in the country.
“Boeing in India is now also focused on scaling up manufacturing through partnerships and engineering—both internally and through partnerships,” he said.
“When it comes to manufacturing, we have increased our sourcing fourfold over the past three years. This year, we expect this number to go beyond $1bn.”
He said the company would look to employ more engineers in locations where it has seen industry growth.
“Today, we have around 1,200 people employed in India and our goal is to have 3,000 engineers in the country by 2020 and we are rapidly moving towards that number,” he said.
“There is a broad engineering capability in India and we will be hiring employees across functions—ranging from high-end aeromechanics engineers to computer science engineers and testing engineers.
“Our engineering base will be spread across Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, since we see growth in all these three areas.”
Kumar pointed out that the Indian army and navy were major customers of Boeing and had already purchased maritime surveillance aircrafts and ordered Apache and Chinook helicopters.
“The Indian navy has been operating the P-81 maritime surveillance aircraft quite successfully—they have eight vehicles on board and have ordered four more,” he said.
“The army has also shown a lot of interest in Apache 22 Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters are on order—we are happy to see that all three branches of defence services in India are using our platform to increase capabilities.”
He said that Hyderabad and Bangalore were now the aerospace hubs of the country, making it ideal for Boeing to develop its capabilities.
“For the longest time in India, the aerospace sector was dominated by government-owned public sector undertakings and it only in the last five or seven years that private players have entered this space,” he said.
“The Indian aerospace industry is expected to find a presence on the global supply chain of global aerospace major in the future.”
He added that major players in the aerospace sector were working on the concept of autonomy in avionics, which would enable unpiloted operation of aircraft.
“We are always working on next-gen aircraft and emerging technologies, such as autonomy in avionics and next-gen space vehicles and capsules,” he said.
“We are on the cusp of another revolution in aerospace innovation.”