Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Cessna-maker Textron plans some production in India

BANGALORE: Textron, the maker of Bell helicopters and Cessna aircraft, said it would add 300 to 400 people to its engineering center in Bangalore over the next one year. The center currently has about 500 engineers.

Inderjit Sal, MD of Textron India, said the center works on new products for almost the entire range of areas that the $11-billion Textron is in, including helicopters, aircraft, surface vessels and industrial segments. He said he could not provide details of the work for confidentiality reasons.

The US company has offset obligations in India, thanks to the $257-million order it won from the Indian Air Force in 2010 for sensor-fused weapons (computer controlled and radar equipped submunitions that hunt for tanks or armored vehicles below and destroy them). Under offset obligations, vendors are obliged to procure materials and services from within India equivalent to 30% to 50% of the contract value. In the Textron order, the offset obligation is 30%.

The sourcing from the Bangalore center will help towards partly meeting the offset obligation. The company is also looking to co-produce components in India. Ellen M Lord, CEO of Textron Systems, said the company had identified specific projects to undertake in India. "We are in the process of identifying partners, which we hope to complete in about a year," she said.

Textron is also bidding for the naval utility helicopter deal of the Indian Navy. The Navy plans to procure 56 helicopters, and Textron is offering two versions of Bell helicopters, which are being showcased at the aero show in Bangalore. Sal said private operators, the oil & gas sector, the medical sector and the paramilitary are also potential buyers of helicopters. Bell is estimated to have the highest market share in the Indian helicopter market. All of that is in the civilian sector now.

The company is also showcasing unmanned aircraft systems, command and control technologies, and precision smart air-delivered and ground-delivered weapons at the show. "India is ready to absorb these technologies, which is why we have such a big presence at the aero show," Sal said. 


No comments:

Post a Comment