HCL Technologies has inked a $15 million contract with Italy's Alenia Aeronautica to provide engineering services for improving the C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft.
Under the deal announced at the Paris Air Show, HCL will convert most of the existing structural design material of the C-27J aircraft into an electronic format and carry out most of the engineering activities that have been planned to support the industrial improvement of the aircraft production line.
The work will be undertaken jointly by the design department of Alenia, a part of the Finmeccanica company, and a team of over 300 mechanical engineers from HCL, the company said.
HCL was selected by Alenia on the basis of its experience and expertise in mechanical engineering services and its extensive experience in the aerospace industry. HCL earlier partnered with Boeing for the development of its Dreamliner aircraft and with Smiths Aviation.
Rajeev Sawhney, president of Europe operations for HCL Technologies, said: "We are the only Indian IT company with transformational expertise in engineering, able to meet Alenia's needs, while maintaining strategic control in the hands of the customer, in line with co-sourcing models.
"This is a major development in the future design and manufacture of aircraft and signals a new era in the types of services we will be providing to the aerospace industry."
Alessandro Franzoni, Alenia Aeronautica's chief technical officer, said: "This deal represents a first move into a potential growing cooperation between Alenia Aeronautica, including its subsidiaries Alenia SIA and Quadrics, and HCL and also reinforces Alenia Aeronautica's interest in the Indian aerospace and defence industry.
"We have complete confidence in HCL's capabilities and we hope to soon extend our partnership into other projects."
Alenia produces combat aircraft, military airlifters, special mission aircraft and commercial airliners. Alenia builds the C-27J, which it jointly developed with Lockheed Martin of the US. The C-27J uses the same engines and avionics as the highly successful C-130J Hercules transport aircraft.
The Indian Air Force recently ordered six Hercules aircraft.