US aerospace major expects orders for 6 more Hercules C-130s

Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures has delivered the first made-in-India Center Wing Box for Hercules C-130 aircraft to aerospace major Lockheed Martin.

Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures is a venture between Tata Advanced Systems and Lockheed Martin.

S. Ramadorai, Chairman of Tata Advanced Systems, handed over the aircraft to George Shultz, Vice-President and General Manager, C-130 programmes, Lockheed Martin, in the presence of N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, at its manufacturing unit located about 55 km from Hyderabad.

Greenfield project

The greenfield project, a 100 per cent export-oriented unit, was established in the Aerospace Park in February 2011.

Addressing the gathering at their factory, Ramadorai said the Tatas have established three aerospace projects in Hyderabad and expect to play a much larger role by developing and supplying parts to the aerospace sector globally and to original equipment manufacturers.

“We would like to complement the efforts of the defence public sector units in meeting the needs of our armed forces,” he said. These projects have meant there is need to develop skills.

This can be assessed from the fact that the average age of 700-strong engineering team is 23 years. This was possible by setting up of a training academy and grooming them for work.

The Chief Minister said the Government plans to encourage more companies in the aerospace business making this a hub.

More Hercules orders

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics said it expects orders for six more Hercules C-130 planes from India. George Shultz said: “We look forward to six more Hercules aircraft orders from India. Here is where the story really starts. These could have airframe components made in India,” he said.

Orders from other countries

Shultz said 15 other countries have placed orders for C-130, and all of them could have parts from this facility.

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The Tatas expect to play a much larger role by developing and supplying parts to the aerospace sector globally.


(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 4, 2012)
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