AERO INDIA: Germany and India link hands

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German aerospace firms are confident business partnerships with their Indian counterparts will continue to grow regardless of the outcome of India's much anticipated medium multi-role combat aircraft competition, Dietmar Schrick, managing director of the German Aerospace Industry Association (BDLI) told Flight Daily News at the show yesterday.

"There is no doubt that winning this competition would be a step change in co-operation between Europe, Germany and India," says Schrick. The Eurofighter bid in India is being led by Germany, reflecting the historically strong aerospace industry ties between the two countries.

Aside from this flagship project, many medium-sized German firms have developed ventures with Indian firms and the number of partnerships is growing. "We have seen an increase in activity in the past four years," says Schrick.

For instance, the German subsidiary of Swiss firm Ruag is working with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd on relaunching the Dornier 228 twin-turboprop. In the helicopter arena Eurocopter has over 40 years of co-operation with HAL.

Co-operation with Indian firms is not restricted to manufacturing. Earlier this week, EADS inaugurated an engineering centre here in Bengaluru dedicated to developing defence manufacturing expertise. It is beginning with 60 engineers rising to 200 by 2012.

German industry once again has a strong presence at Aero India with 17 BDLI members in hall C.