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Make in India | India Invites Big Machine Makers for Air Defence

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India has caught the attention of major aerospace defense manufacturers with its low production cost and government’s strong focus on building manufacturing sector under “Make In India” initiative.

India is also rated among the largest markets by internationally linked small-and-medium-size enterprises (SMEs) which plans to expand supplies to Indian customers or form joint ventures in the country to make their components for exports. “India has the attention of all the big aerospace defence manufacturers and ourselves as well,” said Andrew Martin, director of business development and market at Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Ltd.

Martin-Baker Aircraft Co Ltd is a British manufacturer of ejection seats and safety-related equipment for aviation. “India is our second largest market for (pilot) ejection seats after the US,” added Martin whose family-owned company was rated as the 99th largest aerospace and defence supplier.

There are as much as 20 per cent cost savings on parts and components made in India for the global aviation industry, according to Nitin Sananse, regional sales and technical support for Southeast Asia and India at Spectrum Technologies.


‘Make in India’

Noting that the Indian government’s strong emphasis on building manufacturing sector, some producers of high-tech and high-spec products said they were working on being in the Indian market for the long-term. “With the ‘Make in India’ initiative, we have been very focused on looking for ways to collaborate further with the Indian industry,” said Jim Jackalone, Director of Sales and Marketing at Cobham Aerospace Communications, a UK-based global technology and services innovator.

Underlining the working relationship with Indian aviation heavyweights such as Tata Industries and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd for over 70 years, he said, almost all aviation platforms uses some Cobham equipment.

According to officials of the aviation and aerospace industries participating in the ongoing Singapore Airshow 2018, there is a growing respect for the Indian market as new innovations and products with advanced technologies are being designed with provision for India’s requirements. “India is going through a big modernisation programme and we are proposing our new communications solutions,” said David Knight, Global Sales Manager Air Defence at UK Ltd, sharing his views of the Indian market.

Frequentis UK Ltd is a global supplier of communication and information solutions. London-based QinetiQ, which offers support of testing and evaluation services, expressed their willingness to address the generally perceived lack of product certification, qualification and standardisation of products made in India. “We would like to support with testing and evaluation services,” said Sophie Lane, head of strategic engagement at QinetiQ, which qualifies product and services required by the UK Armed Forces.


Partnership – the key

Some of the established vendors to international manufacturers expressed their keenness to relocate plants to India where global supply chain is in the making for multi- billion dollar domestic and export-oriented industries.


The UK-based Vaayu is seeking “a right Indian partner” as it is in the process of setting up representative office in India by end of this year. “India is a big market,” said Brue Allison, Sales Director at Vaayu, the supplier and stockist of re-cycled but upgraded material and parts for maintenance, repair and operation of major aircraft companies including Lufthansa and Lockheed Martin.

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