Delhi Indian outsourcing company Wipro Ltd. is attempting to fly a handful of design efforts and partnerships into formation to make an assault on the rapidly growing aerospace market in India and around the region.
"Over the last seven years we have had a lot of projects in civil aerospace," said Partha Sarathi Guha Patra, vice president of strategic programs for the company. "In the last four years we have seen the India civil aerospace market in particular booming, so we restructured to better focus on this area as a vertical market," he added.
Patra estimates the combined military and civilian aerospace market in India has grown 50 percent over the last four years. It now represents about 15 percent of the $110 billion and rising sector in Asia, driven in part by growth in a number of national airlines serving a rising middle class.
Japan accounts for the lion's share (about 26 percent) of the Asian aerospace market. It is followed by China and India, Patra said.
Wipro has so far identified four opportunities as part of an ongoing study the company is conducting. They include network-centric command and control systems, simulators, precision engineering and flight control systems.
In the area of network-centric command and control the company has kicked off two collaborations with aerospace giants.
Wipro has partnered with Lockheed Martin to create demonstration centers in Delhi and the U.K. showing new capabilities for linking multiple control centers, aircraft and vehicles. Wipro hopes to accelerate its understanding of aerospace by working with Lockheed Martin while the US company gains greater access to the India market.
In the Delhi center, Wipro is showing applications running across two F-16 flight simulators and a number of kiosk control stations on a local area network.
Separately, Wipro has partnered with Boeing, India aerospace giant HCL and a university in Bangalore to create a virtual research center. It will explore the concept of a single-unified network for civil aircraft than can flexibly and securely handle the work of separate pilot, crew, entertainment and operations networks on a plane.
In another initiative, Wipro is working with BA Systems to explore opportunities in flight control systems. The company is also trying to apply its experience developing computer games to building commercial simulators.
Finally, the company is researching the possibility of creating new designs for smart landing gears and brakes as an extension of the company's existing work in hydraulics. The Wipro conglomerate got into the hydraulics business in the mid-1970s and, thanks to a recent acquisition in Sweden, is now the largest hydraulics company in India and the second largest worldwide.