Executive Insight Back

Aeronautical Development Agency (Ministry of Defence, Govt. of India), "Government Offset and PPP Policies Boosting Aerospace Industry in India"

The Indian aerospace industry is clearly poised for growth. To present a comprehensive panorama of the Indian aerospace industry Lucintel interacted with the top management of Aeronautical Development Agency-Bangalore.

ADA, Department of Defence is the nodal agency for the design & development of Light Combat Aircraft. ADA has developed LCA-Tejas. Tejas has completed 1099 Test Flights successfully. Project Director, ADA shares his companies experience with Editor, Lucintel, K. Venkateshwar. Rao. Excerpts:

1. Key drivers for composite consumption in Aerospace?

ADA: Weight reduction, reduction in the manufacturing & assembly lead time and lower product life cycle cost as compared to metals are the key drivers.

2. Key challenges faced by your company in Indian market?

ADA: As most of the composite raw materials used by ADA are having shelf life and imported, so it demands intensive planning for producing composite parts. At times we face a situation that the life of one material is expiring and we are waiting for another raw material which is required for fabricating the given composite product. There are only few companies in India who have the capability to produce composite parts for aerospace industry. This restricts the scope for outsourcing.

3. Tell us about the impact of government policies on aerospace industry?

ADA: Government’s Offset and PPP polices prompted private sector to come forward and now Indian companies are collaborating with foreign companies and getting access to advanced technology.

4. Steps required for making India an exporting hub?

ADA: Indian companies are providing services in one particular area of product life cycle i.e., design/analysis/manufacturing/testing/repair. They should create the human and technology infrastructure to offer the design to maintenance of the aerospace products i.e., full sub-systems or assemblies, as well as testing and certification services.

Having skilled manpower with cost advantage, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry has great potential, government should encourage airline industries to setup MRO facilities in India. Indian industry should follow global quality management systems, ISO, QS, TS and advance to aerospace standards that would make these companies standing in the global aerospace arena.

5. Challenges faced by composite end-users in India?

ADA: Repair & Maintenance technology is restricted to only few players, and end user has to approach these players for maintenance issues which lead to higher maintenance cost. End users are also facing problems in disposing bio-degradable composites.

6. Government support and policies change required for encouraging exports of composite components?

ADA: Government should support the private industry to create the infrastructure for manufacturing the composites as presently only the Government companies have this infrastructure, which is not sufficient for exports. Government should support the private companies to access the latest technology, provide adequate funding, and fill the gaps in infrastructure and high cost of raw material and certification processes. Aerospace industry should have access to the knowledge base, developed in Indian R&D labs

7. How does ‘Made in India’ product compare with ‘Rest of the World’ in terms of quality?

ADA: The quality of Indian made product is of the International standard. There is no compromise on the quality of the product.

8. Has global slowdown affected the market and how do you foresee the growth forward?

ADA: The present slow down is not affecting the Defence Aerospace sector. In last 2-3 years, we produced composite parts for the Light Combat Aircraft, which are flying successfully. In future aircraft, we are planning to increase the use of composites in some applications like high temperature zones, high load concentrated parts like fitting where presently metals are used. We are also planning to develop new aircraft structures using better fiber resin combinations for further increasing composites usage.

9. Do you see high-potential for composites in the Indian market?

ADA: Yes there is huge potential for composites in India. Government programs to develop aircraft, aircraft carriers, ships, Defence and Space systems will greatly boost composites consumption. Technology Development & Commercialization Mission on Advanced Composites launched by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India to promote utilization & application of composites in non aerospace sectors are giving fruitful results.

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