Boeing plans big investments in India

Boeing is planning to enter India's defence sector, with a clear plan to tap the defence market. Having set up its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) unit in Nagpur, the company is enthusiastic about India. Boeing president Ian Thomas said in a television interview - his first since he took over in January -that he would not even rule out a greenfield investment.

The company has already tied up with engineering giant Larsen & Toubro for aircraft and aerospace systems in Coimbatore. But Boeing is not ruling out further alliances. The company's top management is clear, though, that any tie-ups will be with the private sector and on a large scale.

Boeing is betting big on bidding for FA-18 Super Hornet tactical aircraft for the Indian Air Force's (IAF's) mammoth $10 billion tender for 126 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA), the single largest defence deal in India's history. (See: MRCA RFP: India floats its biggest-ever global tender for jet fighters)

The request for proposals (RFP) enhances the defence procurement policy (DPP) offsets requirement, and lays down that 50 per cent of the MRCA deal, which is valued at over Rs 41,770 crore, has to be reinvested in this country.

Not only is Boeing ready and willing, it seems to be preparing to grab a share of the largesse by offering to tie up with Indian companies to make components and sub assemblies for the MRCA programme, which envisages that 108 of the 126 aircraft will be assembled in India.