New Delhi: US-based aircraft engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney, plans to invest about 30 million dollars in the infotech and spare parts manufacturing sector in India.
“We are planning $30 million investments in businesses relating to infotech and spares. We expect this number to double or more than double in the next three to five years,” Pratt & Whitney (P&W) president Steve Finger said here on 16 October.
P&W’s engines power not only military aircraft like F-16s and fifth-generation fighters like F-22s and F-35s, but also civilian planes like the largest aircraft Airbus A-380s, turboprop ATR aircraft and helicopters. It has also been selected by NASA’s space shuttle replacement programme.
In India, about 285 P&W engines are fitted in aircraft owned by erstwhile Indian (now Air India), Kingfisher, Air Deccan, JetLite, GoAir and IndiGo and other air cargo firms, besides SARAS project of the National Aeronautical Laboratory.
Asked whether the company was interested in the growing MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) industry in India, Finger said “initial exploratory discussions have been held, but nothing concrete has come up as yet.”
P&W’s engines power not only military planes like F-16s and fifth-generation fighters like F-22s and F-35s, but also civilian aircraft such as the largest aircraft Airbus A-380s
The company was interested in the MRO opportunities and looking at the number or types of engines that would be required in India as the industry developed, he said without going into the specifics.
To questions relating to IAF’s 126 multi-role combat aircraft acquisition (MCRA) programme, Finger said in case the F-16s were found suitable, P&W would be happy if its F-100 engines fitted in these jet fighters were also selected.
“Most countries which have a fleet of F-16s have selected the F-100 engines after finding them the safest for single-engine applications,” he said.
Regarding the Indian market, the P&W President said the annual output market for ATRs and other turboprop planes would almost treble in the next few years.
“The Indian market is tremendous for ATR aircraft which is among the best suited for the conditions and our engines will be an excellent solution for India’s regional airlines,” he said.
Asked about certain problems faced by the Indian with the V2500 engines fitted in its A-320 family of aircraft, Finger said P&W was working on an improvised version of this engine called V2500 Select.
The new engine was being offered to all customers using planes like A-319s, A-320s and A-321s which were fitted with the V2500 engines, Finger said.
He said the company had already expanded the network of its offices in the country and employed over 1,000 people.