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Sikorsky planning more JVs with Indian firms

New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) Global military and commercial helicopter major Sikorsky Aircraft Corp is likely to tie up with more Indian companies in the next few months to produce components locally, a company official said Wednesday.

Keen to set a wider footprint in India, the US-based company is also planning to initiate discussions with state-run firms to jointly develop new technology or produce aircraft suited to India’s security needs.

‘Our priorities are bigger than just transactional. Of course, we want to sell our S-76, S-92, the Black Hawk and the Sea Hawk, but we are also looking at a larger strategy, a multi-faced approach in this market space,’ Anthony Moreland, Sikorsky’s regional sales executive-India, told IANS.

Asked if this meant more partnerships with Indian companies to manufacture components or develop new technology, Moreland said: ‘Absolutely, and you will hear about some of those in the next six to eight months.’

Sikorsky has a joint venture with Tata Advanced Systems that will roll out the first Indian-made S-92 chopper cabins in November.

‘The first cabin from our relationship with Tatas will be delivered in November. We have also just appointed Deccan (formerly Deccan Aviation) as a service facility for Sikorsky products on the commercial side,’ said Moreland.

Manufacturer of the well-known Black Hawk attack helicopter, Sikorsky is very keen on pushing its S-92 helicopter, a widely used VIP chopper, in India.

Asked about the possibility of joint production of aircraft or development of technology suited to India’s defence needs, he said: ‘We are meeting internally next week, to discuss the merits of partnerships with Indian companies in developing of higher altitude aircraft or who knows what, brand new technology for example.’

‘In five years, we will have products being developed locally for this market. If the Indian market is willing, we can bring some really exciting technology,’ said Moreland.

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