MUMBAI: Airbus is in initial talks with companies such as Bharat Forge and the forgings arm of Mahindra group to have some of its aircraft parts forged in India, a senior executive said. The plane maker considers this to be the next step to expanding its supplier base and outsourcing activity in a market which it counts as one of its fastest growing, globally. “So far, we have looked at aero structures and systems (for aircraft) in India. Now we are looking at even forgings,” Srinivasan Dwarakanath president, Airbus division, India, told ETin an interview on Friday. He said this is in line with Airbus’ plans of ‘vertical integration’ of its operations which means India should participate in every step of Airbus’ product manufacturing — from procurement of raw materials to after-sales service. Airbus’ sourcing from India amounted to $500 million last year and is likely to grow to $2 billion by 2020.
“If you take a bulk of raw material, the ratio of what you get to what actually goes into the aircraft is 1:10 or less. You lose all the raw material, all the excess that you take out.
In Europe or in America, we can actually recycle them. If we can get the raw materials to be made in the country and the ability to recycle them, it will increase our competitiveness even further,” he said.
ontributing to the aerospace sector would open up new revenue streams for the Rs 28,000 crore forgings industry in India, 61% of whose output currently goes into the country’s automotive sector, according to Association of Indian Forging Industry, a lobbying body
To be sure, forging aerospace parts which requires several times the precision of most other segments would require considerable investments in new equipment and processes and it would be at least a couple of years before actual supply can happen, industry experts said. Airbus last week said it estimates a demand for 1,600 new passenger and freighter planes at a combined list price of $224 billion for India till 2034.Airbus’ industrial cooperation with India began in the 1980s when an agreement was reached with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to manufacture forward passenger doors for the A320 aircraft. HAL now produces half of all A320 forward passenger doors.
Two design centres — one for plane fuselage (with AxisCades) and the other for wing and pylon (with Qu-EST) — are in operation to handle concession activities. The manufacturer has ongoing engineering projects with companies such as Infosys, HCL, Geometric, Tech Mahindra for programmes including the A380 and A350 XWB.planes.