Aerospace and aviation industry in India is buzzing. Passenger traffic is soaring and the whole sector is looking to India to fuel growth in the coming years. But for global aircraft manufacturers India is not just a market anymore, it is fast emerging as a key research base and outsourcing hub.
Be it design, development or production of avionics hardware and software, India is the most cost effective and ideal resource ground. The availability of highly qualified aerospace engineers and IT professional makes India the best offshore R & D destination too.
About 350 aerospace engineering graduates come out of prestigious institutions like the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and IITs every year. The IISc is also in the forefront in cutting-edge research in the aerospace sector. Boeing and Rolls Royce have already tied up with IISc to conduct research in aerospace materials, structures and manufacturing technologies for use in ‘greener’ aircraft engines.
Critical policy changes made by the government are also paving the way for foreign participation, investment and joint ventures in the aviation sector.
Daimler Chrysler has set up a research center in Bangalore and is involved with fundamental and applied research in avionics, simulation and software development.
Infosys and TCS are already working with Airbus and Boeing. Infosys helped design the wings of Airbus’ A380s.
HCL Technologies has a vital role in Boeing’s recently unveiled 787 Dreamliner jet. Software for everything from navigation systems and landing gear to the cockpit controls of this sensational aircraft was co-developed by HCL.
Global aerospace companies like Pratt and Whitney and Honeywell are in talks with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for tie-ups in research and development and in manufacture of aircraft components and engines.
HAL and Infotech Enterprises Limited have announced the formation of a joint venture company to offer engineering design services in the aerospace sector.
US Defense major Raytheon is partnering Tata Power and plans are on to develop electronic and avionics related technologies that could be marketed globally. Raytheon is also in talks with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for joint research and development.
India’s achievements in satellite technology are proving to be a great plus point. Annual events like the Aero India exhibition and the National Seminar on aerospace engineering are also helping market India as a niche player in the aerospace industry.
Will the next generation aircrafts be designed in India? Why is India lagging in miniaturization? Has HAL lived up to its promise? Do comment!