The Great War
The decline of the Ottoman Empire in 1914, lead to an unprecedented scale of uprising among the
European nations leading to the polarisation of Europe. Countries across the globe witnessed
casualties in millions. ‘The Great War’ showed no mercy while engulfing countries in dire disperse
and devastation. The land and seaways were already preconceived and strategies were expected
giving nations disadvantages. This led to the dire need for air support. The Wright Brothers had only
made the world’s first powered flight little over a decade. But the remarkable advances made in
aviation during World War I are still at the core of air power today.
‘The Great War’ is one of many examples of the use of air support and the introduction of Aerospace
Revolution. Countries primarily participating in the war, such as USA, UK, France, Russia and
Germany has learned their lesson in the benefits of Air Support and how it can help not only when
it comes to defense but also to monitor geography, climate, and demography for the betterment of
humanity. These countries grew exponentially in the Aerospace sector due to the constant
competition in World War 1 and the wars which followed after that.
Looking at the opportunity, China preconceived the demand & prospects and started manufacturing
components and exporting aerial vehicle parts to the then demanding nations. Thus, establishing a
firm grip on the Aerospace industry decades before any other country even began manufacturing.
The present scenario is very different, with the rise in demand for aerospace components; there is
tremendous competition among countries and organizational bodies. India has also made a grand
entry in this competition. We have not only created a mammoth Air Support fleet but are now
exporting our resources and expertise. Investing heavily in Research & Development, the Indian
government has been working hard to provide the necessary requisites for proliferation. The ‘Make
in India’ initiative has also provided a boost to the Indian manufacturing sector. Though in the past
few decades Indian Automotive industry has shown huge potential, the Aerospace industry is also
not far behind. It is witnessing steady growth thanks to the industry-friendly policies by the
The policies are benefiting both private and government bodies to work on the next gen of
Aerospace Manufacturing. Government organizations such as Hindustan Aerospace Limited (HAL)
and Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in collaboration with Russian Intel
have successfully entered the turf, getting at par with Aerospace giants such as Russia, USA and
France to name a few. Privately owned companies such as TATA Advanced Systems, Godrej
Aerospace, Mahindra Aerospace, and Aequs among others are also delivering more tangible inputs in
terms of R&D, components, tools and expertise which tackle the booming market demand.
After the failure of the Kaveri Engine, DRDO and ISRO saddled up to make sure it never happens
again. Extensive research went into the project to develop the engine, finally, GTRE GTX-35VS Kaveri
was introduced in the first ever fully Indian made Combat Aircraft HAL Tejas. It is one of many
examples of the extraordinary feats achieved by Indian Aerospace Sector.
There are five factors driving the growth of Indian Aerospace industry, viz. framework, government
policies, infrastructure, competing industries and manpower. Backed by a pool of abled workforce and skilled engineers, government policies, and funding, the Indian aerospace industry has witnessed
All this wouldn’t have been possible without the passionate involvement of the OEMs and parts
manufacturers across the country that provides the necessary components. Beside that machine and tools
manufacturers also play a vital role in providing the technology needed to ease the process and
increase potential. To compete with other nations, we need to scale up and generate more focused
architecture for aerospace manufacturing. Manufacturing units, part providers and die & mold
makers should be dedicated to providing the resources necessary to facilitate the Indian industrial
What does the future hold?
In this era of rapid technological development and never-ending need for manufactured products,
aerospace industry manifests a unique proposition where high value (accurate and optimized) parts
with lesser numbers have to be produced. Here is where Additive Manufacturing (AM) comes in. AM
is the missing link to leapfrog into the future of developing and producing critical components on
demand. Thus, companies such as GE, Moog Aerospace, and MTU Aero Engines are working hard to
incorporate AM into their current operating activities to streamline the development and
production process for components. AM has it perks where complexity isn’t a barrier and not much
of tooling is required, hence an advantage to test changes in component topology rapidly rather
than simulating them virtually. Aviation giants, Boeing and Airbus are going big with AM technology
for the long-term benefits it provides.
The inclusion of AM in Indian Aerospace manufacturing would be like a boon. Encouraging conventional
manufacturers and industrialists to adapt to this technology can help reap good benefits in the
future. This will not only lead the Indian manufacturing and tooling industry to the pinnacle of
technological advancements but also boost Indian Economy leading to social harmony.
Ankit Sahu is the Founder and CEO of Objectify Technologies. He holds a Masters degree in
Manufacturing System Engineering from the University of Warwick. Ankit is passionate about the latest
developments in manufacturing technologies, especially in the additive manufacturing domain.