Saab's QuEST into Aerostructure Assemblies in India

Saab signed a joint venture with QuEST Global Manufacturing for the construction of a factory in Belgaum for Aerostructure Assemblies in India followed by a ground cutting ceremony recently.

The new company will be responsible for assembling the parts for complete sub-structures primarily intended for commercial aircraft. In time, it may also be used for military products. During the first phase, a transfer of two work packets has been planned, which are currently produced in Linköping, Sweden and are part of Saab’s delivery commitment to Airbus. It is intended that after both these work packets are completed, new business with Saab Aerostructures or directly with Aerostructure Assemblies India will form the basis of the continued development of the company.

The manufacturing unit is being constructed within a Special Economic Zone – an industrial park where several companies are established and is intended to be completed by August 2013. . The idea is to be able to take advantage of the benefits on offer in close proximity to the company, which could be potential future suppliers, and that an Economic Zone provides benefits in terms of costs.

Kjell Johnsson, Head of Aerostructures within Saab’s Aeronautics business area said, “Our production rate will increase in the next few years. The partnership provides us with a cost effective and reliable partner which will act as a complement to Saab’s in-house manufacturing. This is a long-term commitment in a market that is strategically important for Saab and it will strengthen our established position as a global player in the commercial aerostructures market.” “The unit is now being built in a way that is completely adapted to the operations, where Saab Aerostructures has been involved in specifying the building’s technical and dimensional properties. We are setting up the operation in three phases.  Initially, Aerostructures Assemblies India (AAI) will have 50 employees and consist of a workshop building, including offices, spanning approximately 2,000 square metres. As the operation develops and new business becomes possible, it will be expanded by an additional 2,000 square metres in phase two and three respectively. The plan further down the line is to build an operation with approximately 400 employees,” said Leif Nelén, Project Manager of Saab Aerostructures.

Along with the establishment of the company, Saab will continue to deliver the strategic objective of strengthening the company’s presence in India and create profitable growth.