India’s Bharat Forge Limited completed its first shipment of forged and machined titanium wing components to Boeing Commercial Aircraft, marking progress in the supply contract announced one year ago. The value of that long-term contract has not been announced. BFL is among the world’s largest forging organizations, with operations in Europe and the U.S., and distribution worldwide. Its products cover automotive, industrial, and energy markets as well as aerospace.
The parts being supplied are closed-die forged, heat-treated, and rough machined at plants in Pune and Baramati. Finish machining will be done at the Boeing Fabrication Division plant in Portland, OR, then shipped to Boeing’s 737 assembly operations in Renton, WA, as part of the wing structures for the 737 Next-Generation and 737 MAX jets.
The parts supplied are destined for the current model in Boeing’s medium-range, single-aisle jet series. Bharat Forge is due to supply comparable forgings for the new 737 MAX, the fourth generation of the 737 series that is scheduled for its first delivery in 2017.
"Shipment of the first titanium forging from India is a significant step towards building a capable and competitive supply chain in India for Boeing,” stated Boeing India president Pratyush Kumar. “This is yet another proof point of Boeing creating an aerospace ecosystem in India."
BFL apparently aims to expand its standing in the Boeing supply chain: in its announcement it claimed to be the jet builder’s only Indian supplier of globally approved titanium forgings, and chairman Baba Kalyani stated the group is evaluating merger and acquisition possibilities to add capacity and capabilities to its machining and assembly operations.
Bharat Forge also announced it aims to expand its capabilities for offering higher-value machining and assembly of aircraft components and systems.
Ed. Note: Some details of this report have been revised from the initial post.