India’s Maini Global Aerospace is about to ink an agreement with Marshall Aerospace to provide structural components for the extended-range fuel cells of the Indian navy’s Boeing P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

The agreement is due to be signed Feb. 11 at the Aero India show in Bengaluru. Maini is scheduled to make the first delivery of initial subsets in April.

“This is a test of performance of Indian capability,” says Naresh Palta, Maini CEO. “Once we do that, it is clear that we can take on board [large] programs.”

Aviation Week has learned that BAE Systems may also be placing an order related to precision engineering with Maini.

Diversifying from precision engineering to aero structures and engine segments, the company has a long-term agreement with engine-maker MTU for precision components and subassemblies for a spectrum of civil and military programs.

“Our base in precision engineering made this a natural choice,” Palta says. “We are looking at around a $5 million investment this year in machinery.” 

With approximately $30 billion set to flow into the Indian defense industry from foreign vendors in the form of defense offsets, Palta says, “The challenge is in building skills, a large part of which [are] still in Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.”

Maini is looking at diversifying into sheet metal forming, aircraft structures, aircraft systems, and airport and ground support equipment. The company says it has developed and manufactured more than 900 high-precision aero components and parts for primes and Tier 1 suppliers.