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Mumbai: Defence and aerospace major Boeing Co on Tuesday appointed former Indian Navy official Surendra Ahuja as the managing director of its defence vertical, Boeing Defence India (BDI).

Ahuja had earlier held the position of Rear Admiral before opting for early retirement in 2018.

Boeing, which is chasing several defence deals in India, including the potential replacement of Soviet-era MiG fighter aircraft used by Indian Air Force, hopes to bag key deals from the Indian armed forces in the near future.

"Ahuja will lead BDI in alignment with Boeing’s accelerated growth strategy for India. This includes the execution of current and future programs across all BDI business sectors in a collaborative environment with Boeing Defense Space and Security (BDS) and Boeing Global Services (BGS)," the company said in a statement.

"Ahuja will be responsible for delivering on Boeing’s commitments to its Indian defence customers while positioning it for new business opportunities," it added.

As a former Indian Navy Test Pilot, Ahuja has flying experience on 22 different types of aircraft. He is also the first Indian pilot to fly from a US Navy aircraft carrier and is the recipient of the Vishisht Seva medal in 2018.

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