Boeing, Air Works collaborate on MRO for navy’s P-8I fleet - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Friday 6 May 2022

Boeing, Air Works collaborate on MRO for navy’s P-8I fleet

By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 6th May 22 

Underscoring the success of the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) campaign, Air Works – an Indian maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company – is partnering The Boeing Company in undertaking heavy maintenance checks on three Indian Navy P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft simultaneously at Air Works, Hosur. 


“This dramatically increases the scope and scale of MRO undertaken in the country and demonstrates both the companies’ commitment in helping make India Aatmanirbhar in aerospace and defence,” stated a Boeing press release on Thursday.


The collaboration between Boeing and Air Works has enabled faster turnarounds and enhanced operational capability within India for key defence platforms. The partnership began with checks on the P-8I Poseidon aircraft, and has grown to include checks and MRO on the landing gear of the Indian Air Force’s Boeing 737 VVIP aircraft.


Established in 1951, Air Works Group is India’s biggest independent MRO with a pan-India presence across 27 cities.


“It is the preferred MRO partner to global aviation original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), aircraft owners/operators, lessors, airlines and the Indian defence services…” said a company release.


“The company (Air Works) also undertakes modification and assembly of rotary-wing aircraft and is an Authorized Service Centre (ASC) for Bell and Leonardo helicopters,” it said.


Terming the execution of heavy maintenance checks on three P-8I aircraft concurrently as “a remarkable achievement,” Surendra Ahuja of Boeing Defence India, said, “That enables us to generate significant value for our defence customers in India, and contribute towards the government’s vision of making India an MRO hub for the region.”


Boeing’s strategic collaboration with Air Works was an important first step under the Boeing India Repair Development and Sustainment (BIRDS) hub launched last year. The BIRDS hub envisions collaboration with key local companies and businesses to develop India into an aviation and defence repair and sustainment hub.


“Maintaining such mission-critical platforms for the nation’s defence forces… reflects the ‘coming-of-age’ or maturing of indigenous MRO capabilities in aviation, defence and aerospace, which can deliver huge advantages for the country,” said D Anand Bhaskar, who heads Air Works Group.


Boeing has an Indian supply chain with more than 275 local companies and a joint venture to manufacture fuselages for Apache helicopters. The US firm employs close to 4,000 people in India, and more than 7,000 people work with its supply chain partners. Annual sourcing from India stands at $1 billion. 


Boeing India and Air Works intend to commemorate their collaboration at the Boeing India Aatmanirbharta in Defence conference being organized in New Delhi on Tuesday, with participation from dignitaries from the Indian Navy, Air Works Group, and other key supplier-partners. 


Increasing MRO in India


  • Three Indian Navy P-8I maritime aircraft are simultaneously undergoing heavy maintenance checks at Air Works, Hosur
  • Demonstrates India’s capabilities for MRO on key defence platforms, to help make India Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) in aerospace and defence
  • Enhancing MRO collaboration under the Boeing India Repair Development and Sustainment (BIRDS) hub

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