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Frontiers February 2013 Issue

ENDLESS P O S S I B I L I T I E S Boeing and India have a growing partnership that includes much more than the company’s military and commercial products By Bill Seil Boeing’s 70-year relationship with India has gone into high gear. Jetliner sales have increased dramatically, a growing defense market has emerged and new technology partnerships have been formed. That relationship began in the early 1940s, when India’s Tata Air-lines began flying DC-3 aircraft, built by Boeing heritage company Douglas Aircraft. While Boeing continued to sell airplanes to Indian airlines over the years, the creation of Boeing India in 2003 gave the company a big boost in India’s rapidly growing defense market. Military sales to India have evolved since the mid-2000s when agreements and closer strategic ties between the United States and India allowed U.S.-based defense firms to compete for India’s business. Since that time, India has been a strong customer for C-17 airlifters and P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft. Details are also being discussed for the purchase of Boeing helicopters. “Our strategy to leverage the entire Boeing enterprise to partner with India has been highly successful, and this has been especially true over the past five years,” said Shep Hill, president, Boeing International, and senior vice president, Business Development and Strategy. “India represents a very important market for us. It’s the second-most populous nation in the world, and it has one of the fastest-growing economies.” Hill pointed out that India has long been a steady customer for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. But Air India’s 2005 purchase of 68 Boeing jetliners, he said, marked a milestone in India’s rapidly growing demand for commercial air travel. Then, in 2009, Boeing opened a new research and technology facility in India. That same year, the Indian government made its first major purchase of Boeing defense products. In addition to being a strong market for commercial airplanes, India is committed to increasing its defense capabilities, Hill said, adding that India will have a continuing need for commercial and military aircraft and an array of services to support these aircraft. Headquartered in New Delhi, Boeing India has approximately 24 BOEING FRONTIERS / FEBRUARY 2013 PHOTO: This P-8I, pictured during flight testing over Washington state, is one of three maritime patrol aircraft that will be delivered to India by the end of this year. JOHN PARKER/BOEING


Frontiers February 2013 Issue
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