GE Aviation, known for its civil and military jet engines and integrated aircraft systems, has been seeking to establish itself as a major aero structures supplier by the second half of the next decade. To this end, it has inked an agreement with Mahindra Aerospace to collaborate on manufacturing opportunities for aero structures. Earlier, at the Paris Air show, Mahindra Aerospace had bagged an aero components production contract from the Airbus Group. Following the Airbus transfer of work approval, of an Airbus Single Aisle package of work, GE Aviation and Mahindra Aerospace are to collaborate to produce small, metallic complex structural sheet details and assemblies at Mahindra’s new Aerospace facility in Bengaluru. GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric, is a producer of jet engines and integrated systems for civil and military aircraft, and aero derivative engines for marine applications. With revenues of $20 billion in 2012, GE’s Aviation has an aero structures business that is headquartered in Humble, UK, and is a supplier of major aircraft structures in hi-tech composites, metallic and acrylics. The new agreement builds on the earlier memorandum of understanding between the two firms. With a vision to develop integrated propulsion systems for future single aisle airliners and regional aircraft, GE Aviation’s strategy to become a major supplier includes participation in key industry research and development projects, and expansion into regions with low cost production capacity, such as China and India. GE Aviation has been operating in Suzhou, China, since 2009. The firm is looking to spend $50 million in constructing new facilities for operation this year. The firm is creating a 9,000 square metre composites production facility at Humble, UK, as part of the $50 million investment, to support the production of composite wing components. SP Shula, Group President and CEO, Mahindra Aerospace and Defence Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra, said the deal would take both partners to the next stage to create value for aerospace OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) and tier 1 worldwide. Arvin Mehta, CEO, Mahindra Aerospace, added in the statement that the manufacture of components, assemblies and aero structures is an integral part of the Indian firm’s vision. He added that the company was also working to leverage its capabilities on assembly work packages for aviation and defence majors. Commenting on adding Mahindra to GE Aviation’s international supply chain, with first hardware due in 2015, Stefanie Darlington, Executive Sourcing Leader for GE Aviation’s Composites Value Stream, noted in a statement that the agreement marked a key step in the development of a long term relationship, and would support existing and potential new opportunities. GE Aviation has recently delivered the 10,000th flight management computer to Boeing, marking an era of continuous partnership with regards to the 737 airplane.
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