India's Tata Group to Supply Parts for Boeing Dreamliner

The company will supply floor beams for the aircraft.

Tata Group will supply parts for Boeing's delay-dogged 787 Dreamliner, marking a "turning point" for the Indian aerospace business, the companies said on Feb. 6. Under the agreement, TAL Manufacturing Solutions will supply floor beams for the aircraft, the first deliveries of which are now expected in early 2009. No financial terms were disclosed for the agreement which marks a "turning point for the Indian manufacturing industry to gain a footprint in the global aerospace business," the statement said.

The Dreamliner, Boeing's first new model in more than a decade, takes advantage of huge advances in aviation technology, and has been designed using plastic composites instead of aluminum to reduce weight. Boeing, which last week announced the latest delay of the Dreamliner's launch, said it was proud to welcome Tata into "its family of world-class aerospace suppliers."

The floor beams will be produced at TAL's new facility in Nagpur using advanced titanium and composite materials and transported to Boeing partners in Japan, Italy and the U.S. for further assembly.

The contract comes as Boeing faces opposition over the amount of outsourced work on the Dreamliner from U.S. unions which have called it unprecedented.

Boeing said the deal was part of its efforts to strengthen "both our presence in India and our strategic relationships with Indian industry." Boeing has been pursuing various aerospace initiatives in India. In December, Boeing and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. signed a deal to bring more than one billion dollars of aerospace manufacturing work to India. Boeing also said late last month it would soon submit its proposal for an Indian contract involving 126 warplanes worth $10-12 billion.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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