Boeing mulls assembling helicopter in India

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) Boeing is considering assembling either the Apache combat helicopter or the Chinook heavy lift chopper in India, a top Boeing official said on Friday.

Boeing has already closed deals with India to sell 22 Apache combat helicopters and 15 Chinook CH-47F heavy lifting copters.

James McNerney, chairman of Boeing, said at an event that was live streamed across the country, that they were evaluating assembling one of the two helicopters in India.

Currently, the beams of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner which can be called the spine of the aircraft are being made in a Nagpur facility.

Aircraft manufacturing company Boeing said that it was game to give wings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make-in-India’ initiative.

“We can play at the centre of ‘Make-in-India’ under which keeping in line with Boeing’s global product strategy. We want design and make in India for India and the world. India is now better poised to make investments for us after the new government has come in,” McNerney said.

Boeing sees a lot of opportunity and capability in India and wants to help it scale up its economy. India will give us business and we in turn will provide technology and ‘know-how’ by collaborating with the partners in the country including the government,” McNerney said.

The chairman said the reason for doing more business in India was because the country was a natural ally.

“India is a big market and after the civil nuclear deal, governments of both countries can now decide more levels of cooperation in the fields of defence and aerospace technology,” McNerney said.

He also praised Modi’s vision.

“Under the new leadership, the country is moving towards the manufacturing dream. The efforts of changing tax regime and working towards speedy dispute resolution are some of the things that this government is working on and it is an encouraging feeling,” McNernery said.

To a question on aerospace manufacturing, McNerney said the company was looking to develop skills in India and thereby also participate in the Skills India mission.

“Manufacturing is a closer reality in India than most people think. We will be soon evaluating making aircraft parts like wings and fuselage here,” he said.

He added the country will buy nearly 1,800 civil aircraft over the next 20 years which will call for a huge investment.

Boeing sees this market as a civil aviation opportunity as conversion of only one percent of people travelling in trains to aviation can double the market size here. We are also looking at producing more fuel-efficient, green and longer-flying capable planes to bring down the cost of flying to attract more customers,” McNerney said.

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