Boeing and Tata sign pact for defence partnership

US aerospace and defence major Boeing Co and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) today signed a framework agreement to collaborate in the manufacture aerospace and defence equipment, including unmanned aerial vehicles, in yet another boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' drive.

The US company said in a statement that the two companies intend to develop and manufacture integrated systems and sell into markets products that they have jointly developed.

The companies intend to access markets jointly for products and platforms developed together by Boeing and TASL, a company press release said.

Shelley Lavender, president of Boeing Military Aircraft and Sukaran Singh, managing director and chief executive officer of TASL, signed the agreement.

TASL already has a contract to manufacture aerostructures for Boeing's CH-47 Chinook and AH-6i helicopters.

"This agreement with TASL is significant because it demonstrates Boeing's commitment to expanding its aerospace manufacturing footprint in India," Lavender said.

"As we step into our 100th year in business, a new aerospace partnership with India is the perfect milestone to accelerate the momentum we have generated for making in India," said Pratyush Kumar, president for Boeing India. "It is noteworthy that TASL will produce Chinook helicopter parts in India even before the procurement contract is signed with the Indian government."

"This framework agreement is the result of the world-class competencies of TASL as well as the vendor eco-system it has helped establish in India. It gives us an opportunity to explore the massive potential in India for aerospace manufacturing and make the investments required to grow the industry," said S Ramadorai, chairman of TASL. "Boeing's platforms require complex manufacturing processes within a competitive cost structure and we are confident that the partnership will be able to deliver high quality aerostructures out of India."

Other Tata group companies - Tata Advanced Materials Limited (TAML) and TAL Manufacturing Solutions (TAL) - also supply components to Boeing.

TAML has delivered power and mission equipment cabinets and auxiliary power unit door fairings for the P-8I long range maritime surveillance and anti submarine warfare aircraft.

New Delhi is trying to encourage more companies to manufacture in India and boost skilled employment, particularly in defence.

Tata Advanced Systems also works with Airbus Group and Lockheed Martin.