Yelahanka, Bangalore. 21 February 2019. On the occasion of Aero India 2019, FICCI organised a technical session on MRO Opportunities and Simulators, bringing together stakeholders from Armed Forces, MRO and Simulator Industries to deliberate upon the opportunities and strategies.
Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria PVSM AVSM VM ADC, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command, Indian Air force, in his special remarks, mentioned that IAF has moved a long way from the time when historically parts of all aircrafts were imported. He said that today the system and processes are more flexible than earlier. Earlier, IAF were forced to import all components for the Aircrafts as OEMs never gave clearance, while today CEMILAC which is the single window for quality certification has the capability of certifying and issuing clearance for any component for Aircraft.
He said that with the changing scenario in the procurement policy where strategic partnership route will be the major route for manufacturing and procurement of aircraft by India, production of parts will be done with emphasis on technology development. The strategy for setting up aircraft production will decide the MRO strategies and opportunities. He also mentioned that simulators have a huge market and are essential part of training where the private sector can play a huge role. He encouraged the simulator players to build capability after appropriate tie-up with OEMs.
Air Marshal RKS Shera AVSM VSM, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Maintenance Command, Indian Air Force, said that while IAF has challenges to maintain vintage aircraft, Indian Industry needs to build capability on reverse engineering. He added that military aviation overhaul is very different from civil aviation and the depth of overhaul in the military is much higher than civil aviation. He mentioned that about 700 vendors are engaged with IAF Base Repair Depots (BRDs) and industry has much more opportunity before them. He emphasized that industry, R&D and academia need to come under one roof to find pathbreaking solutions in MRO. Upgradation of Mi-17 helicopters will offer huge opportunities to Indian industry. Air Marshal Shera emphasized that Life Enhancement Programme should be a continuous effort of IAF and will be critical to stimulate the MRO Industry.
J D Patil, Chairman, FICCI Defence Committee and Whole Time Director and Member of the Board, Larsen & Toubro Limited, in his welcome remarks highlighted that policy reforms by Ministry of Defence (MoD) such as delicensing of many items gives a level-playing field for the private sector vis-à-vis DPSs and global OEMs and has improved ease of doing business. Announcement of Defence Corridors and access of private sector to test ranges and government labs to pursue their R&D efforts will greatly help upcoming startups and established MSMEs.
Sudhakar Gande, Co-Chair, FICCI Defence Committee and Vice Chairman, Axiscades Aerospace & Technologies Limited, also shared his perspectives on the topic and thanked the speakers from armed forces and industry for detailing the opportunities and strategies for building a robust MRO industry in India.