[Aviation Today June 23, 2014] Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) has announced a new partnership under which it will produce the fuselage and wings for Ruag Aviation's flagship aircraft, the Dornier 228 New Generation (NG), at its new manufacturing facility in Hyderabad, India. The latest agreement is the fourth such airframe component manufacturing partnership announced by TASL since its inception in 2009. Other such partnerships include cabin components on the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter and the center wing box for Lockheed Martin's C-130 J aircraft.
Martin Bühlmann, vice president of supply chain management at Ruag Aviation said the company selected TASL because of its track record in similar programs and "ambition to become one of the world's leading manufacturing companies in the aviation sector."
Ruag's Dornier 228 is designed to support special missions and function as a commuter or cargo transportation aircraft. The Venezeuelan government made the most recent acquisition of the Dornier 228, acquiring 10 aircraft to provide increased air travel between remote areas and regional hubs.
TASL Chairman Subramaniam Ramadorai said he believes the partnership helps to raise the profile of the Indian aviation community. Recently the country's reputation in the global aviation community suffered a major blow when the FAA downgraded India's safety rating to a Category 2
under its International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program. The lower rating was issued due to a reassessment of India's civil aviation authority's ability to meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards in areas such as providing adequate manpower for inspections and safety checks on aircraft. However, Ramadorai believes the new partnership highlights India's advancements in manufacturing aviation technology and aircraft components.
"The Tata-RUAG partnership is a glowing example of cooperation between India and Europe," said Ramadorai. “That Ruag has entrusted us to deliver its showcase product, the Dornier 228, at world-class standards of precision and quality, demonstrates our success in developing a highly skilled and motivated workforce with established credentials to undertake high-technology work for global customers."