Boeing eyes $20 bn defence orders from India

September 25th, 2008 - 6:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Sep 25 (IANS) Bullish about India’s growing aviation market, US aerospace major Boeing sees a $20 billion opportunity in the defence sector alone over the next decade.The company is also eyeing $105 billion worth of orders for over 1,000 commercial airplanes from various Indian carriers over the next 20 years.

“We are excited about India’s emerging aerospace and defence markets. On the back of the India-US nuclear deal, there are huge opportunities in the defence sector. There is $20 billion opportunity for Boeing in this sector alone over the next decade,” Boeing India President Ian Thomas said at meeting here Thursday on India-US economic cooperation.

Boeing was committed to India and was looking for long-term and strategic partnerships with Indian companies, he told the meeting, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to mark the visit of a US-India Business Council (USIBC) mission.

He later told newsmen that the company was bidding for Indian defence orders worth $15-$20 billion for F/A-18 Super Hornet combat jets, P8I maritime surveillance aircraft and Apache combat helicopters.

He said Boeing’s 60-year journey in India had been exciting, pointing out that Air India had purchased airplanes worth $25 billion during last three years.

“There is boom in the civil aviation industry and we are proud to be part of that boom,” he said.

He said Boeing had collaborations with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bharat Electronics Limited, the Tatas and other companies for manufacturing aerospace components.

“We are also working with a number of other companies including BPO, KPO, and IT companies, as also with IITs in the manufacturing, engineering and R&D spheres,” Thomas said.

Boeing recently entered into a $500 million joint venture with the Tatas to manufacture aerospace components on the back of a $1 billion tie-up with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in the same sphere.

Thomas said Boeing would be setting up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Nagpur with an investment of $100 million, and also plans to establish a pilot training facility in Mumbai.

On the Andhra Pradesh government’s request to invest in a proposed aerospace Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Hyderabad, he said the company would consider this.

“We are looking at partnerships but have not firmed up plans,” he added.

Dinesh Keskar, Boeing’s senior vice president for sales, would visit Hyderabad to hold talks with state government officials on the issue.

“Hyderabad is a great place to invest and has a favourable business environment,” Thomas said.

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