| NEW DELHI
NEW DELHI Feb 10 Boeing Co's new Indian
unit will help the company win more business from local
customers and mean more employment in the South Asian country,
the head of the U.S. defence firm's Indian business said on
The new legal entity, announced this week, is the fourth
separate country-specific business Boeing has established after
setting up similar structures in Britain, Australia and Saudi
Boeing will hire more staff, most of them locals, but also
bring in specialists from overseas as it looks to win new deals
and grow the $500 million a year worth of products it currently
sources from India, Boeing India President Pratyush Kumar told
He declined to say how many new jobs would be created.
"This is to really create the full ecosystem throughout the
lifecycle for our customers in India," he said ahead of an
Indian airshow in Bengaluru next week.
Kumar said that the new entity, which Boeing hopes will also
grow its manufacturing presence in the country, was designed for
its Indian clients rather than those overseas.
"In order to support U.S. exports, we need to better support
our Indian customers," he said.
Boeing, as well as rivals like Airbus and Lockheed
Martin, are looking to India, one of the world's largest
arms importers, as a future source of growth as Western
countries trim defence budgets.
India is expected to spend $250 billion over the next decade
to modernise its armed forces, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi
has also said that new deals must involve a share of local
production to help the country grow its nascent defence
Lockheed Martin said this week it wants to push ahead with
plans to move production of its F-16 combat jets to India, but
understands President Donald Trump's administration may want to
take a "fresh look" at the proposal.
Trump has criticised U.S. companies that have moved
manufacturing overseas and which then sell their products back
to the United States.
Boeing has won several deals with India in recent years
including a roughly $2.5 billion contract to supply its Chinook
and Apache helicopters, as well as an order for its P-8I
maritime spy planes.
It also has a joint venture with Tata Advanced Systems in
Kumar said Boeing was studying a recent request for
information issued last month by the Indian Navy for 57
multi-role fighter jets for its aircraft carriers, and analysts
expect it to pitch its F/A-18 Super Hornet planes.
(Reporting by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and