Boeing plans to assemble either Chinook heavy-lift helicopters or Apache attack helicopters and offers to manufacture fighter jet aircraft in India.
“We are much closer to have assembly (of) one of those aeroplanes (choppers) here. That will play out and that’s our strategy. This market is too important, capability is too high and commitment is significant and that kind of commitment is important for us,” Boeing Chairman Jim McNerney McNerney said .
India had last month signed a contract for 15 Chinook and 22 Apache helicopters. “Large sections of the Chinook fuselage are already manufactured in India and discussions are ongoing with our Indian partners to make Apache parts,” Boeing India President Pratyush Kumar had then said.
At a seminar organised here by Boeing, McNerney hoped that India will over the next couple of years call for bids for a fighter aircraft.
“Our approach is going to be to take a current, state-of-the-art fighter and bid. The quantities are uncertain...Our bid will include a proposal to make the plane here,” he said.
“The value to India is a very modern production system integrated to make a very sophisticated machine. That kind of industrial base capability is as important as the fighter itself. These modern manufacturing techniques can go into many different industries,” he said..
The Boeing chairman also said that on the defence side, the Indian and US governments have to decide the issue of technology sharing.
“Leaving that aside, and generally speaking, the more cutting edge the technology, then less the sharing will be,” he said.