Boeing has announced strategic agreements with Air Works for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of two of its key defence platforms in India, the P-8I operated by the Indian Navy (IN) and the VIP transport fleet operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Boeing India’s strategic collaboration with Air Works is a first step under its recently launched initiative, the Boeing India Repair Development and Sustainment (BIRDS) hub, which is an in-country network and alliance of suppliers led by Boeing in India that provides MRO ecosystem for engineering, maintenance, skilling, repair and sustainment services of defence and commercial aircraft. The hub aims to grow capabilities in India in the areas of heavy maintenance, component repairs, training and skilling of IAF and IN maintainers.
“This strategic agreement with Air Works positions us to generate significant value for our defence customers locally by delivering faster turnaround, exceptional operational capability and mission readiness on Boeing aircraft. This is an important step in our commitment to the government of India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (self reliant India) vision of developing the country as an MRO hub,” said Surendra Ahuja, managing director, Boeing Defence India.
An important aspect of the hub is training programmes to increase skilled manpower by developing sub-tier suppliers and medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) to build high quality MRO capabilities in India, Ahuja added.
India became the first international customer of P-8 when it signed a contract worth US$2.1 billion for eight P-8I from the Boeing Company in 2009. These aircraft are coming through the Foreign Military Sales Route (FMS). The Ministry of Defence (MoD) placed a follow on order for additional four P-8I in 2016. And the DAC has given approval for more P-8I in November 2019.
“The strategic collaboration with Boeing transforms our existing relationship into a new, enriched avatar. In this new decade, the growing international recognition and enhanced dimensions of our collaboration are testament to our demonstrated expertise in the defence and aerospace domain. We are proud to be the first Indian company to partner Boeing as part of its Boeing India Repair Development and Sustainment (BIRDS) hub initiative and we remain excited, committed and privileged to have been chosen to work with them on such prestigious and critical projects that build as well as test India’s indigenous MRO capabilities,” said D Anand Bhaskar, MD & CEO, Air Works.
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