Boeing announces tie-up for P-8I patrol, IAF VIP aircraft

It leads to faster turnaround, exceptional operational capability and mission readiness, it says

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing on Thursday announced strategic collaboration agreements with Air Works of India for the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) of the Navyโ€™s P-8I long range maritime patrol aircraft and the VIP transport fleet of the IAF.

โ€œThis strategic agreement with Air Works positions us to generate significant value for our defence customers locally by delivering faster turnaround, exceptional operational capability and mission readiness on Boeing aircraft,โ€ said Surendra Ahuja, Managing Director, Boeing Defence India in a statement at Aero India.

The Navy operates nine P-8I and will receive another aircraft by year end. A proposal for six more P-8Is is also under negotiation.

Air Works undertakes base maintenance for ATR 42/72, A320 and B737 fleet of aircraft from its facilities in Mumbai, Delhi, Hosur and Kochi. It also undertakes modification and assembly of rotary-wing aircraft and is an Authorized Service Centre (ASC) for Bell and Leonardo helicopters.

The Boeing India said the collaboration is an important first step under its recently launched initiative, the Boeing India Repair Development and Sustainment (BIRDS) hub, which is an in-country network and alliance of suppliers led by Boeing that envisions a competitive MRO ecosystem for engineering, maintenance, skilling, repair and sustainment services of defence and commercial aircraft. The hub aims at growing capabilities in heavy maintenance, component repairs, training and skilling of IAF and Navy maintainers, it said.

An important aspect of the hub is training programmes to increase skilled manpower by developing sub-tier suppliers and medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) to build high-quality MRO capabilities in India, it said.

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