BEL, Boeing spread wings for building fighter aircraft
US aerospace major Boeing and the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) on Thursday expanded their two-year relationship with the American company, placing a follow-on order with its Indian partner for building sub-assemblies for its F/A-18 combat plane.
Boeing had tied up with the BEL in 2011 and placed orders with it for both the combat jet and its P-8I maritime reconnaissance plane.
This fresh order from Boeing comes despite it losing out in the Rs1 lakh crore-worth “mother-of-all deals” for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft.
Boeing was eliminated during the shortlist stage in the August 2007 tender in which French firm Dassault Aviation’s Rafale has been chosen as the lowest bidder.
The BEL delivers components for the Super Hornet and P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft, and is a partner with Boeing at the Analysis and Experimentation Centre in Bangalore that opened in 2009.
“Boeing’s relationship with the BEL demonstrates our commitment to working with the Indian industry to provide customers with the best products while fostering global growth and market access,” India-based Boeing Defense, Space and Security vice president (International Business Development) Dennis Swanson.
Through the new contract, the BEL will produce Super Hornet subassemblies, including the Ground Power Panel, Helmet Vehicle Interface Stowage and Switch assembly and Cockpit Console panels, a release from the US company said.
For the F/A-18, the BEL also produces a stowage panel for the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System connector cable and an avionics cooling system fan test switch panel with a Night Vision Imaging System-compatible floodlight assembly.
For the P-8I, it provides the Identification Friend or Foe interrogators and Data Link II communications systems.
“The BEL believes this cooperation with Boeing is a great opportunity and is ever willing to take it to greater heights,” the Indian Defence PSU’s Director (Marketing) H N Ramakrishna said following the fresh order from Boeing.