Mahindra Aerospace, the utility aircraft and aerospace manufacturing arm of Mahindra & Mahindra, today said it has signed a technology partnership with the Aernnova Group, a leading aerostructures 'Tier 1' supplier headquartered in Spain with facilities around the globe.
Mahindra Aerospace plans to enter the small aircraft market in India with its own eight-seat utility aircraft (GA8) currently manufactured at its Australian facility.
The company is awaiting approval from India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to begin sales of the aircraft in the Indian market. The company manufactures these at its facility in Melbourne, Australia.
Aernnova specialises in the design and manufacture of major airframe assemblies and is a key supplier on numerous civil and military aircraft programs for several global aircraft OEMs. This technology partnership is Aernnova's first with an Indian aerostructures manufacturer.
Aernnova and Mahindra Aerospace will work together to develop capabilities and meet market demand for mutual benefit, M&M group chairman Anand Mahindra told newspersons in Bangalore today.
He was speaking at the inauguration of Mahindra Aerospace's 25,000 sq m aerostructures manufacturing facility at the Narsapura Industrial Estate near Bangalore.
This service-oriented facility has the ability to accurately craft large, complex sheet metal parts using CNC routing, stretch-forming, bladder press, heat treatment and other specialized equipment.
The facility is intended to assist OEMs and Tier 1's mitigate concerns on single-point responsibility for cost, schedule and quality of deliverables.
The new plant has been established at a total cost of approximately Rs150 crore and has the capacity to deliver about Rs250 crore in revenue per annum when operating at peak capacity.
Initially, the company plans to commence manufacturing activities with smaller parts and sub-assemblies, and then ramp up to larger, more complex assemblies, according to the company.
Inaki Gandasegui, chairman of the Aernnova Group, said, "This facility has been designed to be world-class, and is an excellent addition to India's supply chain. We believe it will play a strong role in the regional eco-system and also help address capacity challenges for the OEMs as they ramp up production rates."
The company is confident of selling at least 25 aircraft annually once it gets the regulatory approval to fly eight passengers in India.
''More than six months ago, we applied to DGCA for approval to fly 8-seater aircraft. They have allowed flying only five members on the board. But our aircraft can carry 8 members and already 32 countries around the world have certified this aircraft,'' said Hemant Luthra, president of Mahindra Systech and member of the group executive board, M&M Ltd.