Boeing, Tata join forces

2008-02-14 17:30

New Delhi - Boeing and India's Tata Industries announced Thursday an agreement to set up a joint venture company to handle an initial $500m of defence-related aerospace component work in India.

The firms said in a statement that they hoped to set the new company up by mid-year, with initial work potentially including contracts for parts for US-based Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornets, the CH-47 Chinook and P-8 maritime patrol aircraft.

The agreement comes a week after Mumbai-based Tata Group and Boeing said India would begin to supply parts for the delay-dogged 787 Dreamliner, marking a "turning point" for the Indian aerospace business.

The new joint venture "is an important part of our strategy to build capabilities in defence and aerospace," said Ratan Tata, the head of the Tata group.

The head of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, Jim Albaugh, said the venture would "bring real and lasting value to India's aerospace industry, while making Boeing products more globally competitive."

The move is the latest in so-called "offshoring" of manufacturing to India.

China is currently the favourite choice for outsourcing manufacturing while India is preferred for information technology, finance and customer services.

Boeing has been pursuing various aerospace initiatives in India.

In December, Boeing and India's state-run Hindustan Aeronautics also signed a deal to bring more than one billion dollars of aerospace manufacturing work to India.

Boeing also said in January it would soon submit its proposal for an Indian contract involving 126 warplanes worth 10-12 billion dollars.