NEW DELHI: The Boeing Company on Monday appointed the head of its India operations, Pratyush Kumar, to lead the defence major’s F-15 fighter aircraft programme in the United States of America (USA).
“Kumar has been selected to lead our F-15 fighter aircraft programme and further its business in the US and globally,” said Boeing in a statement in Bengaluru.
Kumar said he was upbeat about his new US role to build business for the F-15 programme the world over. The company will, however, expand its local manufacturing, technology and innovations, products and people in the Indian sub-continent, he added.
Boeing will soon announce Kumar’s successor in India.
During his five-year stint in India, Kumar advanced the company’s business in commercial aeroplanes, defence, space, security, and global services.
“We launched our engineering and technology centre in Bengaluru during his tenure to drive innovation, scaled up aerospace supply chain and have set up a joint venture in Hyderabad with Tata to make fuselages (main body section) for the Apache attack helicopter,” the statement added.
The US-based commercial jetliner maker also finalised the sale of Apache and Chinook choppers to the Indian military and also won additional orders for the P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft under Kumar’s leadership.
“I want to thank Kumar for his contribution to our business in India and for developing a stronger aerospace industry ecosystem across the country,” said Boeing International President Marc Allen in the statement.
As recently as on September 24, Kumar had met Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy in the state capital to finalise the setting up of Boeing’s electronics manufacturing and avionics assembly facility at an investment of Rs 1,152 crore.
Born in a remote village in Bihar with no electricity or road connectivity, he was homeschooled by his grandfather. “At that time my ambitions were limited and all I wanted was to be able to go to a regular school. The first time I discovered a city and even a television set for that matter, was when I moved to Delhi at the age of 11,” Kumar had told India Today in 2016.
The facility is expected to be built over 12-18 months, and will create about 2,600 jobs.
With 160 partners and $1-billion sourcing, Boeing employs 2,000 aerospace engineers in India.