The Indian government has begun initial talks with two local aerospace companies to begin development of an indigenous regional jet program. Mahindra & Mahindra and Taneja Aerospace & Aviation are in separate talks as the country seeks a partner for a planned regional jet that will begin the country’s drive to develop a modern and global aerospace industry.
According to reports, the state controlled National Aerospace Laboratories is in early discussions with the companies and no further details have been released by them.
The Indian government announced in 2011 a 40 billion-rupee plan to develop a 90 seat aircraft in order to form a globally competitive aerospace industry.
The as yet unnamed Indian aircraft, China’s ARJ-21, and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet will compete against the Bombardier CSeries and Embraer Regional Jet aircraft in the global regional jet marketplace.
Mahindra, which is India’s largest maker of sport-utility vehicles, bought two Australian aerospace companies in 2009 as part of a diversification program by the company. The company makes light aircraft, parts for Boeing 737s, Gulfstream business jets and Lockheed’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Taneja, based in southern India, is a manufacturer of light aircraft and holds a rating for a locally developed and certified aircraft.