The France-based aerospace company, Airbus, is looking to increase its composite imports from India. Composites are materials that basically build up an aircraft, made up of honeycomb structures, aluminium frames, infusion meshes, vacuum bagging film, etc.
“The new area that we are looking to do is composites. We see a good supply base developing in India for that segment. Composites is a very high-tech, super-speciality manufacturing area. And it’s growing a lot as the presence of composites in airplanes these days is significantly higher than the previous years,” explains Airbus’ Vice President for industry development & strategic partnership, Ashish Saraf.
Make in India officer
“The suppliers being looked at include the Adani Group, which is actively setting up capabilities in this segment,” adds Mr Saraf, who was appointed as Airbus’ ‘Make in India’ officer. It appears that the Adani Group, fronted by Gautam Adani and Rajesh Adani, along with companies like Tata Advanced Materials and Valeth High Tech Composites, will be sliding towards better opportunities.
Ashish Rajvanshi, head of Adani’s Defence and Aerospace wing, says, “Adani Defence & Aerospace strongly believes that carbon composites and allied advanced materials will redefine the aerospace and defence industry in the coming years, similar to how aerospace grade aluminum and special alloys transformed the industry a few decades back.”
Airbus is in a race with formidable aerospace competitors like Saab AB, Lockheed Martin Corp, and Boeing to expand its supply chain across South and South-East Asia. They are looking for really big defence orders that can strengthen their presence in Asia. Local partners like Adani Group and Tata can help them build refined products for defence applications.
‘Make in India’ Initiative
It’s the ‘Make in India’ initiative that has made such development possible. Launched by PM Narendra Modi on September 25, 2014, the program promotes local manufacturing in India rather than imports that hurt the economy. ‘Make in India’ covers defence, aerospace, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, railways, construction, textiles, food processing, biotechnology, chemicals, and 15 more sectors.
Strategic partnerships like that of Airbus and Adani Group, will strengthen not only the economy, but also the brute force that India can apply when it comes to defence. Adani Group has an important role to play if India wishes to see more of such partnerships.