Demonstrating a commitment to a self-reliant India

India is making an aggressive push toward self-reliance and sustainability

India has the world's sixth-largest economy and is an emerging market across industries. And the country is pushing steadily toward sustainability, self-reliance and a well developed workforce.

Prime Minister Narenda Modi has announced campaigns including Make In India, Digital India and Skill India – all part of an overarching plan for what's known as AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhian, or a self-reliant India – as well as a path to zero net emissions by 2070.

Industry leaders like Raytheon Technologies, in turn, are investing in India. Across its four businesses, the company employs about 5,000 people in India.

"I don't think today any OEM (original equipment manufacturer) having interest in aerospace and defense can stay away from the Indian market,” said Sunil Raina, managing director for Collins Aerospace in India, noting the numerous areas of continued growth in the region, from satellites to commercial aviation.

“We are one of the pioneer companies in modern manufacturing here, with a presence in the country since 1997."

The sites in India serve a substantial customer base, including local and international governments, aerospace OEMs and defence contractors.

The company’s manufacturing presence is growing in India, said Parag Wadhawan, executive director at Collins Aerospace in India.

“We are evaluating various options to increase our manufacturing footprint in India to support the initiative of Make In India, further boosting the manufacturing skill set as well as the digital economy,” Wadhawan said.

Raytheon Technologies is contributing to Make In India with its design, capability and engineering centers; Skill India with its training center; and many STEM education programs, internships and scholarships to cultivate a highly skilled future workforce in aerospace and defense.

At the Collins Aerospace Hyderabad Design Center, teams are exploring various systems and capabilities related to the connected aviation ecosystem, including aircraft connectivity, touchless airport technologies, the application of AI, machine learning, augmented and mixed reality, system autonomy and data analytics.

These areas of innovation are striving to keep pace with the rapidly growing Indian aerospace market and will be key in achieving self-reliance for India in aviation.

India is also the world’s third largest military spender, and is looking to spend more than $70 billion on military modernization over the next five years.

“That is a huge opportunity to sell, partner, and work together in defense alone,” said Ashmita Sethi, president and country head for Pratt & Whitney in India.

The opportunities abound in commercial and regional aviation as well, she said, noting that India will need more than 2,300 new planes – a value of about $330 billion – over the next 20 years.

“India will need to spend $440 billion on operating and maintaining this fleet,” Sethi said. “That is a tremendous aftermarket opportunity for companies like Raytheon Technologies, in partnership with India, to create a sustainable, competitive advantage in life cycle support for our customers.”

As these opportunities come center stage, the importance of collaboration across India’s government and the aerospace and defense industries could not be clearer.

“The government has an ambition to not only become self-reliant for the capabilities that are required in India, but also wants to start being an exporter of these capabilities to other countries in the future,” said Savya Srinavas, executive director of the Collins Aerospace Hyderabad Design Center. “And I think with the expertise at Collins Aerospace and the other Raytheon Technologies businesses, we can effectively collaborate with the Indian government and bring in best-of-class solutions. Not only for India, but also for the rest of the world.”

Raytheon Technologies has approximately 58,500 engineers and scientists worldwide, along with a broad technology portfolio and deep expertise across key R&D areas. All that empowers the company to support programs and customers in India like never before. This includes sustainability, an area of focus where the company is collaborating on the advanced technologies necessary to help its customers meet their climate commitments.

The company is developing solutions to make commercial aviation and defense systems more efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels. Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engine, powering a large fleet of Airbus A320neo family aircraft at IndiGo and GoAir, produces 16% better fuel efficiency, 50% less regulated emissions and a 75% smaller noise footprint. All of the business’ engines are currently compatible with a 50% sustainable aviation fuel blend, while it is working on validating its full fleet for 100% SAF compatibility. Meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace are both actively pursuing alternative power sources for aircraft, including more electric and hybrid electric flight.

“Our continually expanding presence in India and partnership with the Indian government in enacting their top initiatives will continue to support growth in the aerospace and defense sector, leading to a more prosperous and sustainable future,” Sethi said.

The future of aerospace and defence in India